The University of Hawai‘i softball team’s final game of the Easton Desert Classic was a close battle with Utah, ending in an 11-7 victory for the ‘Bows. Coming off a big loss against Nevada, the ‘Bows' offense was hungry for some hits, taking 14 in seven innings compared to Utah’s six.
The Rainbow Wahine defense looked in trouble in the second inning when Utah took a 3-0 lead. The ‘Bows answered quickly, sparked by a solo home run from freshman centerfielder Lindsey Willmon. Then the ‘Bows (8-3) took their first lead of the game when sophomore third baseman Alyssa Villalpando sent the ball out of the park for a three-run home run and 4-3 lead.
The ‘Bows then allowed Utah (6-4) to tie the game after committing an error and putting a runner in scoring position for Utah’s Bella Secaira, who drove in a run on a single to left.
Senior UH catcher Sharla Kliebenstein brought some more good fortune in the fifth inning with a double to left that scored Jazmine Zamora for a 5-4 lead.
In the top of the seventh, the ‘Bows' offense was able tack on six more runs, taking advantage of two errors committed by the Utah defense. Willmon smacked her second home run of the game, scoring three runs. Kayla Wartner followed with her first home run of the season, giving the ‘Bows a comfortable lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Utah would not allow the ‘Bows to feel too comfortable, scoring three runs on a homer. However, the Utes were unable to close the gap, allowing the ‘Bows to win their final game of the tournament 11-7.
The Rainbow Wahine return home Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. to host the Bank of Hawaii Invitational opening game against San Jose State.
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