Hawai‘i upsets Mississippi State in NCAA Regional opener

TEMPE, Ariz. — The University of Hawai‘i softball team (39-19, 10-7 WAC) scored three runs in the top of the seventh to down the bracket’s second seed, No. 25 Mississippi State (40-21), 9-7 in the opening game of the NCAA Regionals at Farrington Stadium on the Arizona State campus. Hawai‘i hit three home runs in the game, including Kate Robinson’s single-season record breaking 20th homer that tied the game in the top of the seventh.

The game was a back-and-forth battle with six lead changes in the game. The three home runs for the ‘Bows was a season-high for the Hawai‘i.

The Bulldogs though, got on the scoreboard first, posting a single run in the bottom of the opening inning. Nakita Boyce led the home half of the inning off with a walk. The next batter, Chelsea Bramlett then reached on a bunt single to third to put runners at first and second. The third batter, Hayle Guess then laid down a sacrifice bunt to put both runners into scoring position for the clean-up batter, Courtney Bures, who came through with a sacrifice fly to right. On the play, Hawai‘i rightfielder Tanisha Milca threw a perfect one-hop shot to catcher, Katie Grimes, but the speedy Boyce slid in just before the tag.

In the top of the second, UH tied the game at 1-1 when Richie-Anne Titcomb launched her fourth home run of the year high over the leftfield fence.

But MSU answered right back to re-take the lead in the bottom of the second when Sammmie Jo Bailey drove her third home run of the year over the leftfield fence to put the Bulldogs ahead, 2-1 after two complete innings.

Hawai‘i will now take on the winner of the No. Arizona State vs. America East champions, Stony Brook, at 2 p.m. today. The winner of that game will advance to the Regional championship game, while the loser will play the winner of today’s second game in the night-cap at 7 p.m.

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