Celebratory Night for U of Hawaii Women

From the Star Advertiser, Honolulu Hawaii.
By Jason Kaneshiro

After being split in opposing dugouts for seven innings, last season’s Hawaii softball team united for one more celebration.

The five seniors who helped spur the Rainbow Wahine to the Women’s College World Series played against their former teammates in the program’s annual alumnae game last night.

After the 2011 edition closed out a 9-2 win, they hustled over to the Stan Sheriff Center, where the full 2010 team received bracelets commemorating their historic run during halftime of the Rainbow Warriors basketball team’s season opener.

The ceremony marked the first time they were together since ending the season in the WCWS in Oklahoma City.

“It brings back so much,” said former UH catcher Katie Grimes, who is attending graduate school at Boston University and flew back on Thursday to participate in the game and the bracelet presentation.

“It’s amazing,” she said of the team’s chemistry. “I wish I could teach this. I wish I could tell people how to make this happen because it’s so unique.”

The ceremony, capped by a standing ovation, brought a sense of closure to UH’s landmark season, while the win over the alumnae punctuated a productive fall season for the Wahine heading into the spring.

“We know where we’re at more than we did in the beginning,” pitcher Stephanie Ricketts said. “A lot of the question marks have been answered and we know what to work on and what our strengths are.”

Ricketts, Kaia Parnaby and Jenna Rodriguez scattered three hits to an alumnae lineup that included last year’s seniors and three players — Kate Robinson, Tyleen Tausaga and Tanisha Milca — who are playing professionally in Italy. Kristi Yoshizawa played for Great Britain’s national team in the ISF Women’s World Championships in Venezuela last summer.

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