Iwata homers twice to lead 6-0 UH win

RENO, Nev. — The University of Hawai’i softball team (36-4, 10-2 WAC) shut out Nevada, 6-0 on Friday afternoon at the Christina M. Hixon Softball Park. Stephanie Ricketts tied the UH career record with her 32nd complete-game shutout while Kaua‘i’s Jessica Iwata launched two home runs to help lead the UH to victory.

Ricketts (23-2, 8-0 WAC) tied former UH All-American Brooke Wilkins with her ninth shutout of the season. Ricketts now has 25 complete games this year. Against the Wolf Pack, she scattered three hits over seven innings with six strike outs and two walks and she did not allow a runner past second base. Ricketts’ nine shutouts this season ties her career-high set in 2009 and 2011. She already owns the UH career records for wins (97); strike outs (777); appearances (154) and innings pitched (881.0).

The Rainbow Wahine jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the first. Kelly Majam led the game off with a walk and after a strike out, Sarah Robinson walked to put runners at first and second. Iwata then blasted an opposite-field home run over the rightfield fence to give UH the early lead. It was her ninth home run of the season.

Hawai’i scored its fourth run in the fourth inning off a two-out, solo home run to leftfield by Robinson. The homer was Robinson’s seventh of the season and ninth of her career.

The ‘Bows added another run in the top of the sixth. Alex Aguirre reached on a fielding error by the shortstop and moved to second on a Leisha Li’ili’i single to center. Later with one out, Aguirre advanced to third on a deep fly to center by Makani Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu. Aguirre then scored on a pinch-hit single to center by Jocelyn Enrique to give UH a 5-0 lead after five and a half innings of play. It was Enrique’s fourth RBI of the season.

Iwata then capped the game off in the top of the seventh inning with her 10th homer of the year with a solo shot that sailed over left-centerfield fence. It marked Iwata’s 43rd career home run which moves her to within one round-tripper of tying former UH All-American Kate Robinson’s total of 44 for second place in the all-time UH home run record book.

Hawai’i out-hit Nevada 8-to-3 with Iwata leading UH going 2-for-4 with her pair of homers and four RBI. Aguirre also went 2-for-4 with a run scored and Robinson was 1-for-2 with a homer, two runs scored with a walk and she was hit by a pitch.

The two teams square off in a doubleheader tomorrow to conclude the three-game series. The first pitch of the opener is at 1 p.m.

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