For a University of Hawaii at Hilo softball team looking for a spark, Kristina Victa and Rebecca Lee sure did a good job of lighting the fuse.
So much so that Vulcans coach Jaime Wallin made a point of taking the two of them aside Saturday after they had helped UH-Hilo end a four-game losing streak in Waimea.
Wallin’s message: If you two can do that more often, this team can go places.
The top-of-the-order batters each collected four hits and UH-Hilo broke out of its slump in a big way to back freshman Hannah Peterson in a 12-0, mercy-rule victory against Western Oregon.
The Vulcans, who had only mustered a combined 12 hits in their past four games, pounded 19 to even their record at 11-11 and salvage a 2-4 finish at their round-robin tournament.
For Wallin, it all starts at the top with juniors Victa, a leadoff-hitting center fielder, and Lee, a shortstop who bats in the No. 2 hole.
Victa and Lee combined to score five runs and steal three bases as UH-Hilo’s Nos. 1-4 hitters ganged up for 13 hits. Colleen Aubrey was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two stolen bases, and cleanup hitter Emily Greene went 3-for-3, including a double and a pair of run-scoring singles. Lee doubled twice.
Greene’s two-run home run was the lone bright spot for UH-Hilo in its 10-2 loss to Missouri Western on Saturday morning.
At that point, UH-Hilo faced the possibility of a lost weekend, especially since Western Oregon had already thumped the Vulcans the previous two days.
Peterson shined in her second career start with six shutout innings — a complete game — yielding only five hits and walk with two strikeouts.
Jourdan Williams took the loss for the Wolves (7-10), allowing 11 hits and seven runs in four innings. Lexi Orteza had two hits.
UH-Hilo starter Ashley Nelson was roughed up by Missouri Western (11-4) in the morning for 10 hits and 10 runs in five innings. The sophomore walked three and struck out three in the 10-2 loss.
Michelle Stevenson was 2-for-4 with four RBIs for the Griffons. Jackie Bishop beat the Vulcans for the second time in as many days, allowing only two hits, two runs — one earned — with no walks and four strikeouts.