Aloha Big West Action

Christa Castello possesses a team-high nine stolen bases, the No.8 individual total in the conference.
 
Christa Castello possesses a team-high nine stolen bases, the No.8 individual total in the conference.
 

March 28, 2013

LAST WEEK'S RESULT
March 24 vs. No. 24 Oregon State: L, 1-0

THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Friday, March 29

UC Davis Aggies (13-14, 0-0 BWC) at No. 18/22 Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine (25-7, 3-0 BWC)

Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium (Honolulu, Hawai'i) - 9 p.m. (PST)
Live Stats  |  Live Stream

Saturday, March 30
Doubleheader starts at 5 p.m. (PST)
Live Stats  |  Live Stream

 

DAVIS, Calif. - For the first time in 16 years the Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine will host a Big West Conference softball homestand; making the trip for its inaugural conference games of the season and first-ever league series on the islands is UC Davis.

Due to the holiday weekend, action from Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium in Honolulu, Hawai'i will start with a single game on Friday, March 29, at 9 p.m., and end the following day with a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m.

All times listed are Pacific.

For the second time in as many weeks, UC Davis will face top-caliber competition as Hawai'i enters its home opener ranked No. 18/22 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association/USA Today and ESPN.com/USA Softball polls. What may seem intimidating to some teams is just another day at the diamond for an Aggie squad that is coming off a narrow 1-0 defeat to No. 24 Oregon State last Sunday, and has already competed against seven ranked teams this year.

This weekend's series will feature two of the premier pitchers in the Big West Conference - Hawai'i's Kaia Parnaby and UC Davis' Justine Vela.

By helping her team sweep its road games at Cal State Northridge last weekend, Parnaby earned her fourth Big West Pitcher of the Week award. On the season, the senior left-hander is 23-3 with a 1.14 ERA in 184.2 innings pitched.

Last weekend, Vela successfully baffled an Oregon State lineup that contained some of the highest batting and slugging averages in the country. This week, the reigning Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year will face another strong lineup that possesses the league's top slugging percentage when she takes the circle against the Rainbow Wahine.

With 96 strikeouts already to her credit in 83.2 innings pitched, Vela will bring an arsenal of pitches, an 8-2 record and 1.92 ERA with her to the islands. The sophomore right-hander also enters the Aggies' conference opener holding opposing batters to a .173 average.

Vela's counterpart, Parnaby, is holding opposing batters to a .177 mark.

Sophomore first baseman Leisha Li'ili'i leads Hawai'i with a .314 batting average, 23 RBI and is ranked No. 2 with seven doubles and home runs - totals that include a team-high .566 batting, .667 on-base and 1.667 slugging percentages, three home runs, five hits and RBI at Cal State Northridge.

Having already surpassed its total from last season weeks ago, UC Davis has stolen 42 bases this year (and counting) - the second-highest total in the Big West. Led by Christa Castello with nine, 10 of the 11 players that regularly appear in the Aggies' starting lineup have swiped at least one bag.

Also contributing as either a starter or the first players off the bench, Cat Guidry and Gretchen Diekman provide UC Davis with additional speed and options on the basepaths. Collectively responsible for five steals, the former has been successful in all three of her attempts with the latter has advancing safely on both occasions.