It’s the beginning of
a new year and a new season as the HPU women’s softball
team gets ready to hit the field on Feb. 3.
The Lady Sea Warriors are completing their pre-season training
and preparing to start one of their most challenging seasons
This year’s schedule is one of the toughest we ever put
together,” said Head Coach Howard Okita. “Every game
will be a challenge for our young ladies who are looking forward
to having a great year.”
The 2007 schedule includes teams such as Cal. State-Stanislaus,
which finished fifth in the West Regional; Valdosta State University,
which reached the NCAA regional semifinals last year; and Dixie
State College, which ended its 2006 season with a record of 30-8-2.
The HPU women’s softball team is coming off one of its
most successful seasons in recent years. In 2006, the Lady Sea
Warriors finished 27-20 and advanced to the NCAA Division II
West Regionals held in Bakersfield, Calif. Unfortunately, their
remarkable season came to an end after they lost to Humboldt
State in the first round and Cal. State-Stanislaus the following
day. It was the first time HPU reached the post-season regionals
All of our returning starters and players have been working hard
to help our team achieve an even better year than last year,” Okita
said. “They are really pushing themselves and the rookies
to be the best team that they can be,” he added.
There are 13 returning players from the 2006 team, including:
infielders Nicole Riviera, Krystal Plunkett, Nicole Kalakau,
Kara Wedemeyer, and Lehua Yap; outfielders Kellie Nishikida,
Anuhea Young, Danielle Young, and Casey Taylor; pitchers Clerisse
Lemke, Jessica Adolph, and Courtney Kessell; and utility player
Puna Waiolama. Lemke, Wedemeyer, Yap, and Young are seniors.
Three 2006 starters were lost from the 2006 team: pitcher Dayna
Berry left for personal reasons, infielder Lia Pedrina suffered
a major back injury last season but will return as a team manager,
and catcher/outfielder Jennifer Baron used up her four years
of eligibility and will continue to assist the team as a graduate
We will lose [Jennifer’s] leadership on the field the most,” said
Okita. “Every loss affects the team in some way, but you
have to continue to do the best with what you have. Someone else
will be given the opportunity to step-up and do the job.”
That “someone else” may be one of the seven new players
Okita recruited for the upcoming season: freshmen Tajia Acierto,
Kimberley Goo, Samantha Hopper, Sherise Musquiz, Laine Shikuma,
and Casey Sugihara; and red-shirt sophomore Ciera Senas.
This year we will field a very talented and experienced team.
As we found out in our fall season, we have a lot of depth in
most positions,” Okita said.
We have two or three players competing for starting positions
at each position this year. Our returning starters are fighting
hard to keep their jobs in the starting lineup.”
The Lady Sea Warriors open their season Feb. 3 in an exhibition
match against the Alumni team at the HPU field at 12 p.m., but
the real action begins on Feb. 5 against the University of Arkansas-Monticello.
The doubleheader against the Cotton Blossoms will start at 1
p.m. at the HPU field.