After 28 seasons at the helm of the University of Hawai'i softball program, head coach Bob Coolen reached 1,000 wins with a sweep over UC Santa Barbara.
With today's victories, Coolen now joins three other coaches in surpassing the 1,000 win milestone at UH. Jim Schwitters (men's/women's tennis – 1,327 wins), Dave Shoji (women's volleyball – 1,202 wins) and Les Murakami (baseball – 1,079 wins) have made 1,000 wins during their coaching careers at Hawai'i.
UH (27-10, 8-1 Big West Conference) won a doubleheader over the Gauchos (7-33, 1-8 BWC), winning both games 3-1 and 5-2 Saturday afternoon at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Hawai'i 3, UC Santa Barbara 1
The Rainbow Wahine wasted no time putting some numbers up on the scoreboard. Senior third baseman Nicole Lopez smashed a home run to left center field in the first inning to give UH a 1-0 lead.
In the third inning, sophomore center fielder Britnee Rossi hit a two-run home-run down the center field line to score sophomore designated hitter Bree Soma, extending the lead to 3-0.
UCSB was able to get some offense going in the sixth inning off of a wild pitch, which led to a single to left field from Devan Sperry and allowed Maci Fines to score the solo run for the Gauchos.
Senior pitcher Brittany Hitchcock secured her 14th win of the season in the 3-1 victory. Hitchcock allowed one run on six hits with a walk and a strikeout.
Hawai'i 5, UC Santa Barbara 2
UH did the majority of its offensive damage in the first inning, with four different Rainbow Wahine scoring runs.
Junior catcher Callee Heen hit a single to the right field, which advanced senior second baseman Alyssa Sojka to third and allowed Rossi to score.
Senior left fielder Jennifer Iseri hit an RBI-single to the left field to help freshman right fielder Mikaela Gandia-Mak advance to second. Junior shortstop Cheeks Ramos advanced to third and Heen scored as UH extended its lead to 2-0.
Senior catcher Heather Cameron hit another RBI-single as Iseri advanced to second, Gandia-Mak to third and Ramos to score. UH was up 3-0.
Soma followed with another hit as Cameron advanced to second, Iseri to third and Gandia-Mak to score. The Rainbow Wahine finished the first inning with a commanding 4-0 lead.
UH didn’t score again until the sixth inning, where Sojka homered to left field, bringing the lead to 5-0.
UCSB finally got runs in the seventh and final inning, scoring two runs from a single up mid field and a fielding error.
UH sealed Coolen’s 1000th win in a 5-2 victory over the Gauchos.
It is first time since the 2013 season that the Rainbow Wahine recorded two conference sweeps in one season. In 2013, UH recorded five series sweeps. With today's wins, the Rainbow Wahine extended their winning streak to seven games.
Next up for Hawai'i is its third road-trip of the season to face conference powerhouse foe Cal State Fullerton in a three-game conference series.
The Rainbow Wahine and the Titans will open the series on Friday, April 19 at 3 p.m. HST, followed by a Saturday doubleheader on April 20 at 11 a.m. HST.