Hawai’i softball celebrates nine seniors after Cal State Fullerton series

Hawai’i softball celebrates nine seniors after Cal State Fullerton series

Hawai’i softball celebrates nine seniors following double-header against Cal State Fullerton. | Photo Credit: Michael Lasquero, HSRN

Hawai’i softball celebrates nine seniors after Cal State Fullerton series

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED MAY 4, 2024

HONOLULU – The weekend began on a high note and ended still with smiles despite a pair of Senior Day losses for the Hawai’i softball program. 

The Rainbow Wahine (20-23, 13-9 Big West) completed a 1-2 weekend against Big West leader Cal State Fullerton (34-16, 20-4 Big West) on Saturday, dropping a pair of games to the Titans, 4-0 and 8-0, before celebrating nine total seniors that will depart from the program following the season. Despite a pair of tough hitting outings for UH, the team was in good spirits as hundreds of fans remained to show their aloha for the team. 

CSUF started the scoring quickly in the final game of the three-game set, bringing home the game’s first run in the top of the 1st inning as Titans’ 1st baseman Kika Ramirez ripped an RBI single to center but was tagged out after pulling up lame rounding first base. Fullerton was able to add on two more runs in the top of the 2nd after a pair of throwing errors from the Rainbow Wahine. 

After being held off the board in the 3rd, Cal State Fullerton returned to scoring in the 4th with an RBI single from Candace Yingling to make it a 4-0 lead for the visitors. The Titans continued the stream of offensive production in the next inning as the they pushed the lead to 7-0 after two bases-loaded walks from UH and an RBI single to right by Kate Verhoef. 

On the brink of a mercy-rule ending in the 5th inning, Hawai’i head coach Bob Coolen took a moment to send injured senior Maya Nakamura into the game for a single pitch so that she could take the field one final time with the program’s other eight seniors. Nakamura, a 2019 Roosevelt graduate and multi-time all-Big West selection, watched one pitch while playing first before exiting to a loud standing ovation. 

While the ‘Bows escaped the 5th, they were not as lucky in the 6th as CSUF pushed across another run to go up by eight and sat down Hawai’i in order in the bottom of the inning to close the game in six, 8-0. 

Following the game, UH Athletics recognized the nine seniors from Cal State Fullerton ahead of the Rainbow Wahine senior ceremony. Before celebrating all nine Hawai’i seniors, the school took a moment to allow the five seniors that are finishing degrees this spring to walk and receive their diplomas as UH will be on the road during next week’s graduation ceremonies. 

Following the impromptu graduation ceremony, the program took time to recognize all nine seniors that will leave the Hawai’i program following the conclusion of the season. In order, they recognized: 

Chloee Agueda – Outfielder from French Camp, California 

McKenna Kostyszyn – Pitcher from Frisco, Texas 

Piper Neri – Outfielder from Manhattan Beach, California 

Malia Xiao Gin – Shortstop from San Luis Obispo, California 

Dallas Millwood – First Baseman from Mililani, O’ahu (KS-Kāpalama) 

Mya’Liah Bethea – Utility from Las Vegas, Nevada 

Haley Johnson – Catcher/First Baseman from San Diego, California 

Ka’ena Keliinoi – Utility from Wai’anae, O’ahu (St. Francis) 

Maya Nakamura – Utility from Honolulu, O’ahu (Roosevelt) 

After the lei ceremony with friends, family and the team, everyone in attendance was treated to a highlight package on the video board, courtesy of Spectrum Sports. The Rainbow Wahine will play one final series on the road next weekend at UC Davis, playing three against the Aggies to close out the season.