UH-Hilo Softball Ranked Eighth in West Region
The University of Hawai’i at Hilo softball team has a chance to reach the postseason, a remarkable feat considering that the Vulcans have a new coach, don’t have a deep squad, and endured a seven-game losing streak a month ago that nearly derailed the season.
The first NCAA Division II regional softball poll was released Wednesday. UH-Hilo was ranked eighth, leaving no margin for error over the final week-and-a-half of the regular season.
“When I saw the rankings, it didn’t surprise me,” said UH-Hilo coach Peejay Brun. “I kinda did have us between the 7-9 area, so I thought it came out exactly how I was expecting it to come out.”
The difference between 7-9 is large. The top eight teams advance to regional play, meaning that sitting in ninth place only earns you extended time in class before the semester ends.
The Tournament of Champions in Turlock, Calif. was the launching pad to a strong second half of the season. UH-Hilo went 6-1 in the three-day event and followed it up with six conference wins in its next eight games.
“They’ve been getting better as the season goes along. You can kinda see it in the record and how we’ve been doing,” Brun explained. “It goes to really working hard to continuing to get better and not being satisfied with the type of team that we were, even though we were in a good spot.”
There are very few chances for the Vulcans to prove to the ranking committee that they deserve to stay in the top eight. UH-Hilo hosts Chaminade on Saturday and rounds out the year on April 25 with a home twin-bill with Hawai’i Pacific University.
NCAA Division II West Region Rankings – as of April 15
1. Dixie State (38-6)
2. Cal State Monterey Bay (37-9)
3. Humboldt State (36-10)
4. Sonoma State (31-14)
5. California Baptist (36-9)
6. Saint Martin’s (24-13)
7. Chico State (20-16)
8. Hawai’i-Hilo (28-16)
9. Cal State East Bay (23-20)
10. Western Washington (24-16)