Despite the recent breakup of the PacWest conference,
three of HPU’s Division II opponents—BYU-Hawai‘i,
UH-Hilo, and Chaminade—remain as independents. “It’s
going to affect UHH and HPU the most, because they have really
good programs,” said Joseph Puchalski, outfield and batting
coach for Chaminade’s softball team. “I thought
what the two mainland teams did (leaving the conference and
joining another) was really chicken.”
After this year, HPU will no longer get an automatic berth
to compete in play-offs. “The deciding factor for HPU and
the three other PacWest teams will depend on how well they do
during the season,” said Puchalski. “And even that
doesn’t guarantee them a chance to go to playoffs,” he
That the future of HPU softball may be in doubt has done
nothing to slow two HPU rookies, Brandy Peiler and Kelly
having recently been named PacWest players of the week.
Nishikida received her PacWest honor Mar. 18, after batting
.471, with a total of two triples, eight RBIs, six runs,
and a stolen
base in the games against Georgia College and State University,
and both Minnesota-Morris, and Wisconsin-Stout universities.
Brandi Peiler, was also a recent PacWest recipient March
5, for accomplishing 12 RBIs, two doubles, and three out-of-the-park
home runs, to average .500 againstNotre Dame de Namur and BYU-H.