Wahine Softball: WAC season and tournament thoughts

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Kazz
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Wahine Softball: WAC season and tournament thoughts

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Wahine WAC Offensive MVP 2010, Jessica Iwata

Tough one for me to think about, but how can anyone not justify this? This freshman has been quietly under the radar to her fellow teammate and the LOCK for 2010 WAC Freshman of the Year, Kelly Majam, but while other capable WAC pitchers have done not too bad of a job pitching around Majam, Iwata has made them pay. Again, I may get some "flack" for this choice, but it is a hard one to chose and it may sound contradictory, but while I believe Majam and Iwata will be nominees for WAC Freshman of the Year this year, Majam SHOULD earn the WAC Freshman of the Year award based on her overall play in the outfield and at the plate. Both girls have quite the arm, but Majam still has YET to have an error marked against her so far.


Wahine WAC Defensive MVP 2010, Katie Grimes.

No, this is not just senior night nostalgia speaking here, well, a little, but the ever-so stoic and the steady form that has been Katie Grimes over the course of her entire UH career has not changed and with a new pitcher in Kaia Parnaby to work with, she(Grimes) has not waivered. Having to make all the calls for her pitchers, Grimes is part "B" of the pitching success of this team. With a runner on 3rd, 2 outs, and a successfully fielded grounder making it's way back to home, you know you can trust in Grimes.


Wahine WAC Most Improved Player, Stephanie Ricketts.

It sounds funny at first, but those that have followed the team from last season and all the way through this season knew that Ricketts had to be the "one" come WAC play. With a well-documented and discussed slow start at the beginning of the non-conference season, many were high on the true freshman Kaia Parnaby, and rightfully so. Parnaby was headed in one direction but at the same time, we didn't know where Ricketts would head in the other, but Ricketts started finding her way. The Ricketts of old showed herself in games against Stanford and UW and just dominated WAC play and as the WAC season moved on, you could see her repetoir develop further or at least return to what it was from last season with her inside pitches, screwballs, and just plain ole HEAT down the middle.


Wahine WAC MVP, Kelly Majam.

Ok I had to mention her name. But again, who wants to argue the overall addition to the outfield and the batting order she has made. A complete hitter, outfielder, and pinch runner all in one. She has strolled through to the UH all time home run leader record and has quietly, by national recognition's sake ( ) to lead (tied) the nation in home runs. She has been softball's "Colt Brennan" and through numerous news appearances and interviews, she might as well have drawn more of the public to the RWSS all by herself starting with the SJSU series. Her name being called up to the plate draws cheers from those that probably can't even think of another name in the Wahine lineup, but hopefully they'll catch on. Her walk out song "The Professional" couldn't have been more perfect as if it was performed specifically for her. Game face and all, Coolen and UH marketing couldn't have created a better athlete even if they could.


The "AUWE" Award goes to all those freakin' youth softball parents that have no control over their kids. Not ALL of the youth softball kids were out of control, but man… For me, it all started back in the LaTech series in that Friday night game, where you had about 8 kids throwing softballs at each other against the front row fence on the 3rd base side and as one "parent" comes by, we think that they are gonna tell them to sit down because people can't see, nope!!! They tell them to stand there so they can be on TV.

(Sheesh, this kind of complaint sounds like something my parents would say, but I guess it's a sign I am getting older…)


Keys to WAC Tournament.
-Just hit it baby!!!
-***Kaia Parnaby.



The tournament is in Las Cruces and as the Fresno State Softball Blogsp… ERRR.. I mean, the WAC Softball Blogspot has said OVER AND OVER AGAIN, it's at altitude and suits the Wahine perfectly. Well, tough ____!

Now the reason I singled out Parnaby specifically really has nothing to do with her only. It's more on how Coolen will decide to use her in this double elmination format. It wasn't too odd to me that Coolen didn't pull Parnaby in the second game of the series, but if the series was tied 1-1 and Parnaby was in the same situation in the third game, then yes, I can see her being pulled. With the Wahine earning a 1st round bye in the WAC tournament, I don't know if Parnaby will start any of the games, but if she does, expect a very short leash on her if things get the slightest bit out of control. I expect Coolen to put the WAC tournament completely on Ricketts' shoulders.


Kaia Parnaby is young. A true freshman and I think she deserves a ton of credit for what she has done for us this season. Bob Coolen will not feed her to the "wolves", and I do NOT mean Nevada, but he wanted to push her to see what she was made of and what that assessment is, is something I am NOT qualified to assume. Yes we lost that game 9-7, but in the long run, as Jessica Iwata mentioned, should only help them overall.

Overall, I am pleased to see that the Wahine really look like a complete team at this time. Their fielding has improved and their outfield, which hasn't really been tested all year, proved to be a formidable trio that can cover good ground and can make the throws needed.
Last edited by Kazz on Tue May 04, 2010 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wahine Softball: WAC season and tournament thoughts

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Good writeup Kazz. The air in Las Cruces is thin. I've been there. The balls will be flying out of there. I wonder how big their field is.

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Re: Wahine Softball: WAC season and tournament thoughts

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uhwarriors wrote:Good writeup Kazz. The air in Las Cruces is thin. I've been there. The balls will be flying out of there. I wonder how big their field is.
It's larger than ours for sure. We have the smallest field in the WAC and probably in the NCAA along with Boise State as their field is also an equidistant 200 feet from home to the fence all the way around. I believe that is the minimum required. Other parks are usually 215-225 in the center and perhaps around the 200-210 in the alleys.

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Re: Wahine Softball: WAC season and tournament thoughts

Post by HawaiianHogster »

The Wahine owned the WAC during the season. Tournaments are a different story. It will be interesting to see how they do. I hope it's on TV? I will hold off getting all excited for now since every time there's a big time tournament UH's teams don't fair well most of the times with the exception of the Wahine VB team. Anyway if they win the WACT they should get a descent place in the NCAAT or whatever it's called.

I don't follow softball but these Wahines have garnered my respect big time. I wish they would rub off on our baseball team. If you know what I mean.
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

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Re: Wahine Softball: WAC season and tournament thoughts

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HawaiianHogster wrote:The Wahine owned the WAC during the season. Tournaments are a different story. It will be interesting to see how they do. I hope it's on TV? I will hold off getting all excited for now since every time there's a big time tournament UH's teams don't fair well most of the times with the exception of the Wahine VB team. Anyway if they win the WACT they should get a descent place in the NCAAT or whatever it's called.

I don't follow softball but these Wahines have garnered my respect big time. I wish they would rub off on our baseball team. If you know what I mean.
The Wahine have won the WAC regular season titles 3 times now and have been to the NCAA regionals 8 times, BUT have never won the WAC tournament.

This year, we have that "magic" number of 40 wins which is supposedly what the NCAA uses as a "benchmark" for a NCAA regional invitation. I look for LaTech as another "sleeper" in the tournament.

Krieg has killed the Wahine in post season play with only one game to work on in tournament format. Krieg in a three game series couldn't hold up against our batting order. ANY team can go down in the WAC tournament and fall into the loser's bracket at the hands of a pitcher on fire. I like to think softball and baseball tournaments are always at the advantage of the pitchers even though all teams have had the entire regular season to really experience each other.

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Re: Wahine Softball: WAC season and tournament thoughts

Post by Duster »

I remember when college softball had substantial numbers of those lefty slap hitters who start their run to 1B before making contact with the ball. It's a power game now, with games resembling the Little League World Series at Williamsport with all of the HRs.

Krieg of LTU has good stuff. Her changeup keeps hitters off balance, and she does hit her spots. However, the Wahine still rocked her. There will be a point when the Wahine will face some All American pitcher with exceptional stuff (like Abbott had at Tennessee). They didn't face anyone like that during the WAC season (where they feasted), but they will during the NCAA tournament. Ricketts and Parnaby will need their "A" games in order for the wahine to compete. I'm looking forward to seeing them take on such a challenge, and like their chances.

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Re: Wahine Softball: WAC season and tournament thoughts

Post by Mr.EDGE808 »

Duster wrote:I remember when college softball had substantial numbers of those lefty slap hitters who start their run to 1B before making contact with the ball. It's a power game now, with games resembling the Little League World Series at Williamsport with all of the HRs.

Krieg of LTU has good stuff. Her changeup keeps hitters off balance, and she does hit her spots. However, the Wahine still rocked her. There will be a point when the Wahine will face some All American pitcher with exceptional stuff (like Abbott had at Tennessee). They didn't face anyone like that during the WAC season (where they feasted), but they will during the NCAA tournament. Ricketts and Parnaby will need their "A" games in order for the wahine to compete. I'm looking forward to seeing them take on such a challenge, and like their chances.
Very true Duster.....so it becomes that ol' cliche of baseball (softball) of what's better....good ptiching to good hitting....and I think COACH Coolen has both....this is a very special wahine team that I've ever seen...... :hello1:
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Re: Wahine Softball: WAC season and tournament thoughts

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http://hawaiiathletics.com/custompages/ ... AMCUME.HTM

Current Stats:

Kelly Majam leading in runs score, walks, on-base-percentage, and played flawless in the field with ZERO errors; But, Jessica Iwata has an overall better stats, i.e. BA, RBI, and HR. In the Majors Leagues, win the Triple Crown, hands down you win the MVP award for the year.
If the season was PAU, unless, there’s another player in the WAC with “mo betta” stats, Jessica Iwata should be the WAC FOY, and WAC POY.

But, OVER ALL, Kelly Majam, so far, has the better STATS.

JMHO, half-way through the WAC season, opposing pitchers started to pitch Majam away—nothing inside or over the plate where she could turn on it--resulting in a lot of walks and impatience at the plate, by swinging at offerings outside the strike zone. Just a thought, maybe she should be protected by moving her to 3rd in the batting order, sandwiched between Iwata and Gonzalez, and moving Pu’u-Warren to the top of the batting order—Kanani in conference play has the second best OB% at .522 and batting a healthy .322. Only Majam has a better OB% at .529. Those are awesome OB% numbers.

Bottom line, with the post-season coming up, every player still has a bunch of games left to improve their STATS.

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Re: Wahine Softball: WAC season and tournament thoughts

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seasider wrote:http://hawaiiathletics.com/custompages/ ... AMCUME.HTM

Current Stats:

Kelly Majam leading in runs score, walks, on-base-percentage, and played flawless in the field with ZERO errors; But, Jessica Iwata has an overall better stats, i.e. BA, RBI, and HR. In the Majors Leagues, win the Triple Crown, hands down you win the MVP award for the year.
If the season was PAU, unless, there’s another player in the WAC with “mo betta” stats, Jessica Iwata should be the WAC FOY, and WAC POY.

But, OVER ALL, Kelly Majam, so far, has the better STATS.

JMHO, half-way through the WAC season, opposing pitchers started to pitch Majam away—nothing inside or over the plate where she could turn on it--resulting in a lot of walks and impatience at the plate, by swinging at offerings outside the strike zone. Just a thought, maybe she should be protected by moving her to 3rd in the batting order, sandwiched between Iwata and Gonzalez, and moving Pu’u-Warren to the top of the batting order—Kanani in conference play has the second best OB% at .522 and batting a healthy .322. Only Majam has a better OB% at .529. Those are awesome OB% numbers.

Bottom line, with the post-season coming up, every player still has a bunch of games left to improve their STATS.
I have no idea how the WAC folks vote of WAC Freshman of the Year, but Majam does have the "highlights" on her side with all the homers, the UH record breaking HR, twice voted WAC hitter of the week, but YES Iwata is no slouch either with a NFCA NATIONAL Player of the Week honor and the numbers to MORE than back it up. But even as you mentioned, the overall stats are in favor of Majam, which is why I have little doubt she will get the award. Too bad they can't share the honor.

As for moving Pu'u-Warren to the top of the order that is indeed thinking outside the box sir! But not so much that anyone that has watched this team all season long would be thinking, "nah, you crazy!". Kanani was doing the same thing she was doing last season and that was coming on towards the end of WAC play, but last year, even though the entire team wasn't hitting very well, she too declined from her stats at the end of the regular WAC season.

It was inevitable that the teams that had the proper pitching (LaTech, Nevada, and FSU) would do everything they can to keep Majam at bay and it has worked. At first Krieg was successful, but Majam was able to be patient just enough in that series. Then on the road in Reno she started to really see the big picture and quite possibly get a preview of what other pitchers were going to do to her from the WAC tournament and beyond.

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Re: Wahine Softball: WAC season and tournament thoughts

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Kazz wrote:
uhwarriors wrote:Good writeup Kazz. The air in Las Cruces is thin. I've been there. The balls will be flying out of there. I wonder how big their field is.
It's larger than ours for sure. We have the smallest field in the WAC and probably in the NCAA along with Boise State as their field is also an equidistant 200 feet from home to the fence all the way around. I believe that is the minimum required. Other parks are usually 215-225 in the center and perhaps around the 200-210 in the alleys.
Bob Coolen said on the Animals Show last week that NMSU's field is 190 feet down the lines and 220 feet in center. Don't know which way the prevailing winds blow but it could be a launching pad especially with the light air.

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Re: Wahine Softball: WAC season and tournament thoughts

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Overall stats (OOC and WAC games):
http://wacsports.com/fls/10100/stats/so ... M_ID=10100

Conference only stats:
http://wacsports.com/fls/10100/stats/so ... M_ID=10100

If the season was PAU, and softball picks their POY on WAC stats alone, i.e. baseball, basketball, volleyball, football, Iwata would win the award--She is leading the WAC in HR, RBI, and AVE. Majam has the best overall (OOC and WAC games) stats in the WAC, leads the NCAA in HRs, playing flawless defense in center, will garner her All-American honors, i.e. Kate Robinson in 2007.

Maybe moving Pu’u-Warren to 1st and Majam to 3rd is “thinking-out-of-the box” in softball. But, in baseball, your best hitter normally hits 3rd or 4th, i.e. active ML player’s Rodriquez of the Yankees, Puhols of the Cards, Longoria of the Rays, Morneau of the Twins, and past greats Ted Willialms, Babe Ruth Lou Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Duke Snider, Willie Mays, Henry Aaron, Roger Maris, etc., and the not too long from the game, Sammy Sosa, Bobby Bonds, and McGuire. And this hold true for 99% of DI College baseball teams. And if anyone has the chance to scrutinize the NCAA top women’s softball teams, you’ll most likely see the best hitter batting 3rd or 4th, with the high OB% hitters batting 1 and 2. Pu’u-Warren’s batting average is much lower than her team mates, but her OB% of +.500 is 2nd only to Majam.

Take for example the Yankees acquisition of Nick Johnson (career .270 ave, .401 OB%) during the off-season to bat 2nd after Derek Jeter because of his good OB%. When Jeter or Johnson gets on base, standing at the plate will be Texeira, with Rodrigues in the on-deck circle, and Cano below deck licking his chops with anticipation…LOL.

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