Decision Made to Declare a Tie in UH-Hilo Softball Finale
In the small market, small budget world of Division II athletics, rarely-needed decisions on outcomes of games can be determined by budgets and travel restraints.
Such is the case with the University of Hawai’i at Hilo’s regular season finale against Hawai’i Pacific University Saturday afternoon. After the Vulcans took the opening game of the doubleheader in 10 innings, both teams dueled to another extra-inning contest. Darkness, however, prevented both teams from continuing into the tenth inning, which is important at a venue that does not have lights.
The game was halted at the time and ultimately left to a decision between both coaches, UH-Hilo’s Peejay Brun and HPU’s Bryan Nakasone. Late Monday afternoon, both coaches agreed to end the game in a 5-5 tie.
“It was really hard, honestly, especially knowing for both teams, we both have players that worked hard all year long, and they still have games left, but for us, a tie just feels so blah” said Brun about the decision.
“It was a hard decision, but it was one of those things that was kinda the reality of the situation. There wasn’t going to be the funding for either team to fly to either island to possibly play one inning,” Brun explained.
While HPU’s season ends after this week’s games with Chaminade, UH-Hilo is left hanging in the balance. A pair of wins would’ve been a big help toward keeping the Vulcans in the top eight of the NCAA West Region rankings, but a tie at the end leaves some uncertainty with other teams still playing.
“It is absolutely nerve wracking,” Brun said. “We always try to preach ‘control the controllables’ and ‘control what you can control’ and now we’re sitting in a place where we have absolutely no control.”
Of course, every detail that led to Saturday’s series-ending tie will come under the microscope. For starters, you can’t help that both games went at least nine innings. The start time of 1 p.m., however, was a late change from the original 12 p.m. first pitch.
“HPU had requested if we could possibly change it to one o’clock because they had a later flight so they wouldn’t be sitting around later in the day, and I did agree to it,” Brun said. “In hindsight, I should have thought about it better.”
Now comes the tough part. UH-Hilo will wait for the final week of the regular season to play out, sitting on a 31-16-1 overall record and a 20-10-1 PacWest Conference mark.