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Sullivan helped softball to winning record

by Ano Puchalski


In fall 2000, a fresh-faced, 5-foot 8-inch pitcher from Burbank, California, stepped onto the Sea Warrior softball field for the first time, unaware that she would one day become one of the most valuable walk-ons the HPU softball team ever had.

Malia Sullivan said she came to Hawai‘i seeking a degree in HPU’s marine biology program. Playing softball was a remote second option.

In her first year with the Lady Sea Warriors, Sullivan ended her season with a 1.61 E.R.A, winning 18 of the 26 games she pitched. Sullivan helped HPU’s softball team end the season with its best record since the 2000 Pacific West Regionals.

Malia Sullivan


Since her freshman year at HPU, Sullivan has managed to juggle a rigorous schedule by enrolling in six classes each semester for 13-16 credits, including three- to four-hour science labs. She practiced softball for three to four hours a day, six days a week, with games on the weekends, while still making time for her personal life with her boyfriend of three years, Allen Brooks.

Sullivan pitched in her last and final game with the Lady Sea Warriors May 8 at HPU’s Hawai‘i Loa campus, beating Chaminade University 4-2. She will “walk away” after appearing in 18 games this season and winning nine of them. She played 12 complete games with three shutouts and finished her career with a 1.94 E.R.A. She also hit a line drive into centerfield to bring in HPU’s fourth and final run against the Silverswords in that final game.

“ Malia has exceeded a lot of our expectations,” said HPU softball Co-Head Coach, Howard Okita, “and she’s improved every year.”

Sullivan said establishing herself as a pitcher for the Lady Sea Warriors was a challenge, but dealing with conflicting personalities on the team was an even bigger challenge. She had her personal and social life to deal with, as well as family life back home, and on top of all that she still had school.

“I’ve learned to be a stronger and more open person from my years here with the team,” said Sullivan, “I advise aspiring softball players to not take the game too seriously and just have fun. After all, it’s softball, not your life.”

Sullivan attended John Burrows High School where she played softball for four years as starting pitcher, alternate centerfielder, and offensive slapper under Head Coach Pat Lynch.

As a pitcher she captured Burbank’s Tournament MVP title in 1999. She was All-District Pitcher in 2000 and First Team Pitcher in her senior year.

Sullivan also lettered four years in basketball and earned another Tournament MVP Award as the starting forward in 2000. She graduated an accomplished student—a member of California’s Scholastic Foundation, as well as an accomplished athlete.

Sullivan recalls how even in hard times, “There was always lots of laughter in our house. My family is the best team I have ever been on,” said Sullivan.



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