OREM — The Utah Valley University softball team hung around with No. 15 Hawaii Wednesday evening at Wolverine Field, but in the end the Rainbow Wahine (31-3) pulled out the contest 6-1.
"That's a good ballclub but I don't feel like we got overwhelmed," UVU head coach Todd Fairbourne said. "The kids made some adjustments today and put some balls in play. This tells me that we can be pretty good if the girls will just play with confidence and do what they are capable of doing."
UH struck first with a run in the top of the first inning, but the Wolverines (20-12-1) countered in the bottom half of the frame with a run of their own to tie the game at 1-1.
Hawaii took advantage of a couple of walks an inning later and scored another run to pull ahead at 2-1.
The Wolverines then threatened in the bottom of the third as Kylee Brinkerhoff started it off with a leadoff single. The rally was cut short, however, as moments later Rainbow Wahine catcher Kayla Wartner cut Brinkerhoff down as she attempted to steal second base.
UH pushed across two more runs in the fourth to extend its lead to 4-1, capitalizing on a leadoff walk in the frame.
Later, Hawaii managed to score two more late insurance runs to pull out the contest 6-1.
Tiffany Mills started for UVU and pitched 6 2/3 inning of seven-hit ball but suffered the loss (10-8) as she issued 11 walks. Mills did strand 12 Rainbow Wahine base runners, however. UH's Kaia Parnaby, one of the premier pitchers in the nation, picked up the win (12-1) as she gave up just three hits and struck out 10 batters.
Russell, Brinkerhoff and Jamie North picked up the three hits for UVU in the contest, while Hawaii was led by Wartner's 2-for-2 performance.
The Wolverines will continue their 12-game homestand by returning to conference play to host PCSC foe Northern Colorado in a four-game series this weekend. UVU and UNC will play a pair of doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday with action beginning at 12 p.m. each day.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.