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Softball bids Aloha

by Rachel Lacar, staff writer

 

May Day was the perfect day to conclude the college careers of five senior women who played their hearts out for the last time on the Lady Sea Warrior softball field at HPU’s Hawai‘i Loa campus.

The last two senior day games were played against the Chaminade University Silverswords. Malia Sullivan pitched the first game and ended her career with a 4-2 win. Brandy Choy Foo hit 3 for 4, while Holly Garcia earned herself a career record of 15 home runs.

In the second game Jessica Parra pitched her final career game, but the Lady Sea Warriors fell one run short with a 4-3 loss, ending their season with a 22-21 record.

Brandy Choy Foo

 

“Our record wasn’t indicative of how the team played this year,” said Coach Howard Okita. “With a few timely hits here and there, we could have challenged for the league championships.”

After the games it’s a tradition for the underclassmen to create a memorable moment for the seniors as they make their way barefooted around the softball diamond for the last time in front of their family, friends, and teammates.

“I’ve waited four long years for this moment, and it is finally here. Who knows what they’ll do to us, but I’m ready,” said Garcia, as she took off her softball cleats for the last time.

Jessica Parra

 

In the past there were tricycle rides, balloon fights, eggs, ketchup, whipped cream, and even mustard slip and slides. But this year the underclassmen theme was “The Chubby Bunny Pageant.” Each of the seniors were introduced individually and made their way to home plate. They were each given a sash that represented their hometown, just as in the Miss America Pageant.

“Back at home we don’t do these types of things, so I was excited and proud to represent where I was from.” said Sullivan, 21, of Burbank, California. “When I first came to HPU,” she added, “I wasn’t sure I wanted to take my softball skills to another level. But then tryouts came my freshman year, and there I was just like all the rest of them hoping to get chosen to join the team,” she added.

Rachel Lacar

 

At each base there was a different set up with crazy obstacles for the seniors and weird clothing for them to put on. They had to bunny hop from home plate to first base while stuffing their mouths with two marshmallows.

At first base, pieces of cloth were wrapped around their heads, like pirates, and using only their neck and chin, they had to transfer an orange from one to another in a line to second base.

At second base, they had to don paper hula skirts and balloon-filled, tissue-paper bras to portray a hula girl image. Then they had to hula dance themselves down to third base, where each of them was crowned.

Holly Garcia

 

On the way to home plate, rose petals were strewn on the base path as they gracefully walked home before a last and final run around the bases that ended with a long-lasting dive at home plate. As they got up off the ground, family, friends, and teammates were there to congratulate them with leis and presents.

“ You know you don’t get this where I am from,” said Parra, 22, from Arizona. This is the most leis that I have ever had,” she added. “Playing for HPU has definitely been a good learning experience, especially because there is a combination of girls from the mainland and from the islands. I’ve learned things about others that helped me to learn things about myself,” Parra said.

After the last hugs, kisses, and pictures were given and taken, everyone headed down to the tennis courts for potluck. “I stayed back for a brief moment and took my final glance at the field,” said Choy Foo, 23, from Waimanalo. “It hasn’t really kicked in yet that the season is over and I’m done, but give it a week. Then it’ll hit me. No practice!”

Losing five starters, Coach Okita has his work cut out for him for the 2004-05 team. “All our seniors had an outstanding season,” Okita said. “Unfortunately they could not conclude their softball career as champions, but in our hearts they are all winners.”

 

2004, Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.
 
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