Sharks softball secures first PacWest series victory of the season

Sharks softball secures first PacWest series victory of the season

Sharks softball secures first PacWest series victory of the season

BY MICHAEL LASQUERO | HSRN
PUBLISHED APRIL 4, 2024

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.

GAME ONE

GAME TWO

HPU and Chaminade split non-conference softball double-header

HPU and Chaminade split non-conference softball double-header

HPU and Chaminade split non-conference softball double-header

BY MICHAEL LASQUERO | HSRN
PUBLISHED MARCH 17, 2024

KANEOHE — These two teams sure like to make things fun at the end.

Hawai’i Pacific and Chaminade split a non-conference softball double-header Saturday afternoon with each team notching a one-run victory at Howard A. Okita Field.

The last time the two teams played, the Silverswords took both games with an extra-inning 6-5 win and a 2-1 win over the Sharks on March 3.

HPU was finally able to strike back against its rival on Saturday with a walk-off 6-5 win in game one with shortstop Jewel Larson providing the game-winning RBI. This helped the Sharks snap an 11-game losing streak to earn their fourth win of the year.

Chaminade trailed for most of game two, but surged ahead on a sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Desiree Bravo in the fifth before taking the lead on shortstop Taryn Fujioka’s single in the top of the seventh. Larson nearly played hero again for HPU, but a double-play ended the game to secure the 2-1 victory for the Swords (9-7).

The game-sealing play went from center fielder Summer Buck to Fujioka to catcher Larchelle Tuifao to get the game-tying run out at home trying to score from second before Tuifao fired it to third baseman Jaeda Kumaewa-Cabunoc to get Larson out at the corner.

Fujioka was the star of the afternoon, batting 7-for-8 overall with two RBIs in the leadoff spot.

HPU (4-16) tallied nine hits in both games, with Larson and Taimane Panganoran getting three hits each across the two contests.

Taylor Thompson (3-5) was credited with the complete game pitching win for the Sharks in game one. She gave up 11 hits and five unearned runs, but HPU was able to rally with three unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh for the win.

Getting the win in the pitching circle for the Swords in game two was Kamryn Lopez (5-2).

The Sharks will not play another game until next month when they take on Academy of Art in a four-game series that starts on April 2.

Chaminade will have 10 days off before their 12-game road trip in California when the Swords resume PacWest play against Concordia University-Irvine on March 26.

GAME 1

GAME 2