Hawaii softball suffers sweep on long senior night

·3 min read

May 13—Rain in Manoa delayed the start of senior day at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium and UC Davis dampened the University of Hawaii softball team's evening by sweeping the season-ending doubleheader.

Rain in Manoa delayed the start of senior day at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium and UC Davis dampened the University of Hawaii softball team's evening by sweeping the season-ending doubleheader.

Still, the Rainbow Wahine made it a celebratory night for their four seniors.

After UH pulled off a late-inning comeback in Thursday's series opener, the Aggies evened the series with a 6-1 win in the first game on Friday and clinched their fifth straight series win over UH with a 5-2 victory in the finale.

UH closed the season at 30-23 overall and 13-14 in Big West play, and the evening capped the careers of Rainbow Wahine seniors Cira Bartolotti, Rachel "Bueller " Sabourin, Amanda Ajari and Lepepaina "Princess " Matavao.

UH coach Bob Coolen got all four seniors into both games, sharing the field together for a final time.

"It was prety special because we've been through so much together, " Bartolotti said after the ceremony honoring the group. "Looking from center (field ) and I get to see all of them in the infield and it just makes me happy."

Bartolotti, who raced home with the winning run in UH's 3-2 victory on Thursday, created another senior week memory with an opposite-field home run—her fourth of the season and fifth of her career—to right-center to lead off the bottom of the third in her final collegiate game.

"It was a pretty good feeling just to know I got to do it one more time, " said Bartolotti, who will be back on campus this morning for UH's spring commencement ceremony. "I just went up there just trying to get a hit and we were just trying to have fun this last game because it was our last game. ... I was just ecstatic because all of my family could watch that and it was an amazing feeling."

The start of the doubleheader was delayed 20 minutes by rain blowing down from Manoa Valley. Play was then halted four batters into the game in a 45-minute delay and again in the fifth inning.

UC Davis leadoff hitter Anna Dethlefson singled and scored in the first inning against UH starter Key-annah Campbell-Pua and homered in the sixth off reliever Millie Fidge.

Taylor Fitzgerald held the Wahine to three hits through five innings and Caroline Grimes closed out the win for the Aggies.

UH shortstop Xiao Gin was struck in the head by a bad-hop grounder in the fourth inning and was replaced by sophomore Alyssa Nakagawa after being checked out by the team's trainer. Gin missed a start for the first time this season in game No. 53.

UC Davis jumped ahead in the second game on Delaney Diaz's homer to center in a two-run second inning.

The Wahine answered in the third on Bartolotti's homer and Izabella Martinez's RBI single to score Ka'ena Keliinoi, who had tripled into the right-field corner.

UC Davis reclaimed the lead in the fourth when Dethlefson doubled to left-center to drive in Grace Kilday. Dethlefson, who went 4-for-7 in the doubleheader, eventually scored on Tatum Wentworth's pinch-hit single.

Kenedi Brown held UH to two hits over four innings of scoreless relief of UC Davis starter Sarah Reineman and was credited with the win before UH's traditional senior ceremony.

"It's 34 senior classes and they don't get easier, " Coolen said. "You watch them grow up from 18 to 22 ... and they're ready to begin their lives and it's really interesting to watch them go from youngsters to mature adults."