St. Joseph, MO – HPU erased a two-run fifth inning deficit to win its first NCAA Division II Softball College World Series title. The Sea Warriors plated four runs in the fifth inning to hold on to beat Valdosta State, 4-3, in the title game.
“What a win,” said Coach Bryan Nakasone. “It was a long road and nothing came easily and especially not this game.”
HPU posed little threat through four innings, and trailed 2-0 after the Lady Blazers plated two first inning runs. Then in the fifth inning, the Sea Warriors sent 10 batters to the plate and put four runs on the board. VSU countered with a run in the bottom of the inning to cut the score to 4-3.
Sherise Musquiz (34-3) earned the win but not before some tense moments in the seventh inning. Colette Rollins walked to load the bases with just one out, but pinch hitter Amy Brightwell lined to Caira Pires at third for the second out. Musquiz then got April Hutchins to fly out to centerfielder Kozy Toriano for the game’s final out.
“What a way to go out in my last year,” said senior second baseman Casey Sugihara. “It still hasn’t sunk in yet.”
Holly Satterfield pitched four and one-third innings for the loss, allowing three runs on four hits. Alyssa Shirey posted two hits and two RBI for VSU, and Amber Shaw recorded two hits and one run scored.
Ciera Senas led HPU in her final performance as a Sea Warrior, recording two hits and one run.
After the game, Sugihara, Ciera Senas, Nicole Morrow, and Sherise Musquiz were named to the All-Tournament Team. Musquiz was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after going 4-0 on the week.
John Barry, the Sports Information/Marketing Director for Hawaii Pacific University, issued this report