Sharks softball secures first PacWest series victory of the season


KANEOHE — Thing are starting to turn around for the Hawai’i Pacific softball team.

After recording back-to-back wins over Academy of Art on a Tuesday double-header, the Sharks secured their first PacWest series victory of the year when they defeated the Urban Knights by a score of 8-2 in the first game at Howard A. Okita Field Wednesday afternoon.

The six-run win was the largest margin of victory of the season by HPU (7-17 overall, 3-9 conference).

The Sharks broke open the game with a five-run rally in the bottom of the third that was highlighted by Tiari Hernandez’s first home run of the year. Her blast to left field went 200 yards and bounced off the top of the fence to give HPU a commanding 7-2 lead.

Pitcher Gianna Kerschbaum (2-5) picked up the complete game victory while throwing three strikeouts and scattering four hits across seven innings.

The Urban Knights (8-28, 4-18) snapped a 22-game losing streak in game two with a 5-3 win over the Sharks, but the home team gave the visitors everything they could handle in an extra-inning game that went nine frames.

HPU faced a two-run deficit for majority of the game until the sixth inning when Kerschbaum drove in Hoku Ching and Jewel Larson to tie the game at 3.

The Sharks will now go on the road in a 14-game road trip with stops in California and Hilo before wrapping regular season play against Chaminade on April 27 in the program’s final games in Kaneohe.