In danger of getting swept again and falling below .500 in conference play, Emily Greene and the University of University of Hawaii at Hilo softball team busted out in a big way.
Greene swatted two home runs with five RBIs Saturday and the Vulcans outslugged Azusa Pacific 13-8 to salvage a split of their doubleheader in Azusa, Calif.
The junior designated hitter hit a solo shot in the first inning to give UHH (18-16, 11-10 Pacific West Conference) the lead, then her two-run shot in the second fueled a seven-run uprising. She finished 3 for 5 and has six home runs on the season.
Kaylie Drew (2 for 5) added her first home run, a solo shot in the second inning, as the Vulcans banged out 18 hits to end a three-game losing streak.
“It was very good for the team’s psyche,” coach Jaime Wallin said,
Hannah Peterson (6-6) survived into the fifth inning to get the win before giving way to Ashley Nelson, who took the loss in a 5-2 loss in the first game.
Catcher Jillian Martinez enjoyed a perfect day at the plate in the second game, going 4 for 4 with two runs scored, second baseman Brittany Huff went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI single and Shelby Vickers tacked on an RBI double and run-scoring single.
Peterson allowed seven runs to the Cougars (27-12, 15-9) — five earned — on six hits. The sophomore right-hander didn’t issue a walk or strikeout a batter.
Huff was 2 or 3 in the first game, but Carly Xepoleas came on to pitch 4 2/3 innings of shutout relief to improve to 10-3.
Nicki Sprague hit a two-run hone run and a two-run single off Nelson (8-9), who went six innings and allowed nine hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
The Vulcans head to Notre Dame de Namur for a doubleheader Monday to conclude the road trip.
Dixie State collected 18 hits in a 12-1 victory, then the Vulcans made three errors in losing 8-4 as their losing streak reached seven games in St. George, Utah.
“That team can really hit. We can’t match their firepower,” UHH coach Kallen Miyataki said. “Our defense let us down a little bit.”
Jeremy Dela Cruz (3-3) took the loss in the first game, lasting just 2 1/3 innings and giving up five hits and four runs with a walk.
Kevin Kline homered for the Red Storm (22-11, 16-2), while Austin Cusack finished 3 for 4 for the Vulcans (10-17, 8-12).
Jordan Kurokawa (2-4) was the loser for UHH in the second game. He went four innings and yielded nine hits and six runs — four earned.
Harrison Guiol and Keenan Nishioka each had two hits for UHH, which faces Dixie State in another doubleheader today.
“We’re ready to head home,” Miyataki said.