The Lady Seasiders Softball team cemented its legacy in BYU-Hawaii’s history winning the last game in the program's history 2-1 on the back end of a double-header over visiting team Chaminade.
“This was all about the players,” said Lominga Latu, head coach. “To see what they did this year speaks volumes to their chemistry and the love and support they have for one another.”
The Seasiders struggled in the first game losing 7-1, but less than 30 minutes later they were able to put together a winning performance to capture the win in the last game.
Latu said, “That was awesome to come back after losing 7-1. It was demoralizing, but to come back and squeeze out a win like that…those are the tough games, the tight played games. The girls each made plays that gave us an opportunity.”
Key contributions came from pitcher Meghan Wantz and outfielder Roxane Dennis on the defensive side. Lizabelle Talataina knocked in what would be the go-ahead runs with a two-shot home run in the 1st inning. Talataina's offense would be sufficient for a game that turned into a pitchers’ duel between Wantz and Chaminade pitcher Luana Moreno. Wantz only allowed five hits and one run in seven innings pitched. Dennis made several highlight-reel catches including a rundown of a hot shot into the left center gap, which appeared to be falling until Dennis sped underneath it, raising her glove to snag the line drive for the first out of the final inning. The crowd erupted in cheers.
“I felt we had a lot of momentum going into the final inning knowing it was all our last inning as Seasiders. I knew together we could do it, and Rox proved it with her catch,” said Wantz, a senior from California majoring in elementary education.
The Seasiders appeared disinterested in the first inning of the first game of the double header, recording two errors and allowing the first run of the game. But the Seasiders would tie the game in the bottom of the first and only gave up one run with zero error sover the next two innings.
In the fourth inning, Chaminade scored four runs. The Seasiders once again appeared to be beating themselves with two throwing errors at the beginning of the inning, which scored Chaminade’s Kiana Ulufale all the way from second.
The momentum built up against the Seasiders. While the Seasiders only had seven hits, they were not far behind Chaminade with 10. The Seasiders were unable to string their hits together to produce anymore offense in the first game falling 7-1.
The energy of the second game appeared different as the Seasiders came out hot with a Talataina homerun.
Wantz was able to outduel Chaminades Moreno in a game that had many in the stands and in the dugout nervous.
“We were nervous with the amount of power hitters they have and how they had them spread out through their lineup,” said Latu. “It’s tough to have a good defensive outing and to take care of their best hitter and to come out the next inning and face another big hitter. But to get by each of them three times through the game, that speaks volumes for Mak and what she does behind the plate in controlling and calling the pitches and of course when Megan’s throwing it is great.”
Wantz said, “It was a little bit of a legacy game. We talked about it being our last game, but we also talked about it being the program's last game. It was to fun to be a part of.”
After the game, the seniors on the team were recognized and draped in flower and candy leis as well as pool inflatable floaties. Families and friends came on the field to congratulate the players.
The school provided a dinner for the players and their families, after which the women celebrated the conclusion of their season with a kickball game.
Seasider fan and student Trevor Harrison, a senior from Washington majoring in hospitality and tourism management, said, “Today I felt just a whirlwind of emotions. It all ended okay. They were probably thinking this was it and I could tell. They rose to the occasion.”