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College softball: Strong pitching helps Vulcans sweep

March 9, 2014 - 12:05am

The University of Hawaii at Hilo rode a pair of strong pitching performances and the hot bat of Rebecca Lee to sweep Holy Names University in a doubleheader Saturday.

The Pacific West Conference softball games were played at the Vulcans’ field.

The host Vulcans (12-8 overall, 7-4 PacWest) claimed the opener 2-1 and the second game 6-0 over the Hawks (7-17, 3-7), from Oakland, Calif.

“It’s always good to get a sweep,” Vulcans head coach Jaime Wallin said. “But I thought we did some really good things today. We had both pitchers throw impressive games and Rebecca (Lee) came through again. Overall, it was a good team effort — from pitching to hitting to defense.”

Lee, a hard-hitting senior from Oahu, banged out three hits and drove in both runs in Game 1 to provide all the offense that UH-Hilo starter Ashley Nelson would need.

Nelson, a junior southpaw out of San Diego, Calif., tossed a four-hitter to earn her seventh win of the season against four losses. She went the distance, allowing one run and four hits while striking out four and walking one.

Holy Names starter Kayla Simonson pitched 6 1/3 innings and took the loss. She gave up five hits and both runs. Reliever Karolanne Tipton came in to face two batters in the seventh, including Lee, who promptly drilled a game-winning double to seal the 2-1 victory.

Lee was the only player in the game to have at least two hits.

In Game 2, sophomore right-hander Hannah Peterson (4-3) went the distance to register the win. Peterson, a right-hander from Alto Loma, Calif., held the Hawks to five hits and her Vulcan teammates exploded for five runs in the bottom of the second inning to set the diamond for another UH-Hilo victory.

Holy Names starter Vanessa Pulido (0-1) was tagged with the defeat.

Lee was the only player in Game 2 to pair hits. She went 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Lee and Jillian Martinez each had a double for the hosts.

“We did a good job in the second game, scoring runs early and putting some pressure on their defense,” Wallin said. “Our defense played well all day. We had a double play in each game, and our catcher, Danielle Pulido, picked off one of their runners in the first game — and that was a big play for us.”

The Vulcans next host Academy of Art University in a PacWest doubleheader at noon Thursday at the UH-Hilo Field. They then close the busy week with a conference twin bill against Dominican University at noon Saturday at UH-Hilo.

“This is a critical stretch for us,” Wallin said. “We’re in the middle of a six-game stretch and need to win as many games as we can.”

At Vulcans field

Game 1

Holy Names 000 000 0 — 1 4 1

UH-Hilo 000 010 1 — 2 6 0

Game 2

Holy Names 000 000 0 — 0 5 1

UH-Hilo 050 100 x — 6 7 0