Hawai‘i returns home to host Lousiana Tech

HONOLULU—The University of Hawai’i softball team (32-4, 6-2 WAC) returns home to host Louisiana Tech (18-19, 5-3 WAC) this weekend in a three-game Western Athletic Conference series. The two teams will square off with a single game on today at 6 p.m. and a doubleheader on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.

The Rainbow Wahine return to Honolulu after a long, 12-day, seven-game roadtrip in which the ‘Bows went 6-1 to raise their record to 32-4 overall and 6-2 in conference—a game behind WAC-leader Fresno State. Hawai’i began their Mainland journey with a three-game sweep at New Mexico State in Las Cruces. UH then headed to Utah, where they won a pair of mid-week games at Utah and Utah Valley before splitting their WAC doubleheader at BYU. The lone loss was the first away loss this season for UH with a record of 7-1 on the road and 5-0 at neutral sites. Their series in Provo was trimmed to just two games due to unplayable field conditions from inclement weather on Friday.

Hawai’i—who moved up one spot to No. 14 in the NFCA/USA Today Poll and stayed at No. 19 in the USA Softball/ESPN.com poll—look to bounce back after the last loss at BYU against Louisiana Tech. Junior shortstop Jessica Iwata continues to lead the ‘Bows with a .390 batting average. Currently, she has team-highs in hits (39); doubles (seven); RBI (37); slugging percentage (.670) and on-base percentage (.479). In the circle for UH, senior Stephanie Ricketts has been the anchor of the team. She is 20-2 overall and 5-0 in conference with an overall 0.93 ERA—which is ranked No. 6 in the NCAA DI.

Ricketts has completed all 22 games she has started and has come in relief twice this year with one save at New Mexico State. She has held opposing batters to a .163 batting average while walking 58 and striking out 167.

The Lady Techsters come to town after sweeping New Mexico State in Ruston last weekend. Melanie Goff leads the Lady Techsters with a .388 batting average (26-for-67) with nine doubles and 15 RBI. Janna Frandrup is one of two players to have started all 37 games this season. Frandrup is second on the team with a .368 average and a team-high 25 RBI. Amanda Krueger leads LaTech with 32 runs scored and 10 doubles while Katelyn Hill and Dacia Hale lead their squad with five home runs a piece.

Five players make up the Lady Techsters’ pitching staff, with three seeing significant time on the mound. Michelle Jones is the ace of the group, with an 11-9 record and 2.38 ERA. She has thrown 126.1 innings with three shutouts and 15 complete games. Frandrup has a team-low 0.72 ERA with a 2-3 record in 12 appearances and 38.2 innings pitched while Erin Kipp is 5-4 with a 5.55 ERA in 46.2 innings pitched.

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