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Kevins Corner


By Kevin Kacatin
April 19, 2011

HONOLULU, Hawaii --Aloha Rainbow Wahine Softball fans!

It is hard to believe that another season of Hawai'i Softball is approaching it's end. Well, at least the end of all home games at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium for the regular season of 2011. The season itself obviously remains unfinished with UH's last Western Athletic Conference series at San Jose State (May 6-7) before the 2011 WAC Tournament commences in Fresno, CA starting Wednesday, May 11 and ending with the WAC championship game on Saturday, May 14. The subsequent NCAA regional's are set to take begin Friday, May 20th.

This Saturday night, following the regular season home finale double-header against New Mexico State, the three seniors of the 2011 Rainbow Wahine Softball team will be honored in a way that only the University of Hawaii can pull off. Melissa Gonzalez, Jenna Rodriguez, and Jasey Jensen will be playing their last home game as a Rainbow Wahine and their careers as student-athletes at the University of Hawaii will be celebrated.

Jasey Jensen, from Layton, Utah, transferred to the University of Hawaii from the University of Utah where she played for two years as a Ute following a transfer from Salt Lake Community College. The 2007 Layton High School Outstanding Athlete of the Year and Mountain West Conference academic all-conference team member helped bring speed and defense to the 2011 Rainbow Wahine team. Jensen has been a valuable asset to the program contributing in the outfield, second base, and designated player positions throughout the 2011 season and her first home run as a Rainbow Wahine, helped the team start off their 2011 Western Athletic Conference season right resulting in a 5-2 over the Utah State Aggies.

Jenna Rodriguez arrived on the University of Hawaii campus a little later than she had hoped for. Before becoming a Rainbow Wahine in 2010, Rodriguez was celebrating a JUCO National Softball Championship as a starting pitcher and infielder for the Yavapai Lady Roughriders at Yavapai College in Arizona. The Acradia, CA native made her mark in the annals of University of Hawaii athletic lore by hitting an epic walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the 7th inning with two outs to secure the program's first-ever Women's College World Series. It will forever be argued as the biggest moment in University of Hawaii history as the 16th seeded Rainbow Wahine upset the #1 seeded Alabama Crimson Tide on their home field. By comparison, in both situational and quality of opponent, no other team in the history of University of Hawaii athletics has accomplished such a feat. To add to the historic moment, Jenna Rodriguez's walk off home run was nominated for a 2010 ESPY award for "Biggest Upset of the Year".

Melissa Gonzalez experienced many obstacles throughout her early career as a Rainbow Wahine. Injuries were a pesky part of Gonzalez's tenure in her first two seasons, but the Moreno Valley, CA native kept her focus and persevered. Gonzalez has worn many "hats" for the Rainbow Wahine seeing playing time in the infield and in the pitching circle, but found her niche at 3rd base and in the batter's box in 2010. In her first full season as a starter, Gonzalez became only the third Rainbow Wahine ever and first American-born player to be selected as a first-team National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American. The third baseman finished her junior campaign with 25 homerun's placing her 4th in the nation amongst the top home run hitters in NCAA Division I women's fastpitch softball. Her overall contributions throughout her career as a Rainbow Wahine comes as no surprise. A 2007 graduate of Valley View in Moreno Valley, Calif, Gonzalez lettered four years in softball, earned all league honors each season and in her senior year, she was team MVP and was named the league's top pitcher.

It is easy to forget that all of our student-athletes are students FIRST and athletes second. All three seniors, as well as all of their teammates, have a "full plate" on their hands. From classes, study halls, mid-terms, final exams, regular exams, lab reports, projects, volunteer time, and then their commitments to conditioning and weight training, road games, practices, team meetings, games, etc.. It is quite the accomplishment for anyone to earn their degree and excel on the field. Their sacrifices should be celebrated as much as their triumphs because at the end of the day the one constant remains, they all wear "HAWAII" on their uniforms.

These seniors are a part of a program that represents our university and our state and soon, as alumnae, they will be a part of an elite sorority of past Rainbow Wahine that have also contributed to the history of the softball program and have become outstanding contributors to our community and our society.

The Na Wahine Softball Booster Club, encompassing all current members and officers, would like to say "thank you" from the bottom of our hearts to our 2011 seniors Jasey Jensen, Jenna Rodriguez, and Melissa Gonzalez!!!

"The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet." ~Aristotle


Booster Club News

-This Saturday, our first-ever Na Wahine Softball Booster Club "gathering" will take place. All booster club members that have RSVP'd to participate in the post-game gathering to congratulate our 2011 senior class is set! Again, as stated previously, all participating boosters that RSVP'd are too meet at our booster club table located near the main entrance to the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium this Saturday, April 30th at 3:30pm.

-Those that placed orders for on-site pick up for our exclusive Na Wahine Softball Booster Club polo shirt by Under Armour, you will contacted on Thursday, April 28th and on Friday, April 29th to confirm you will be picking up your shirts at our booster club table located at the main entrance of the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium this SATURDAY, April 30th during the regular-season finale double-header against New Mexico State starting at 4pm. All other boosters requesting to receive their shirts via USPS mail, your shirts will be mailed out starting Monday, May 2nd.

-So far, the softball "gods" have not been too favorable with our "FOUL BALL PROMOTION". Fans that catch a foul ball in the stands that have been hit by a Rainbow Wahine can redeem it for an official H-logo softball. However, no fans have been lucky enough to be on the receiving end of this promotion. We will be continuing this promotion this weekend for the ENTIRE series against New Mexico State starting on Friday, April 29th at 6pm and then continuing for BOTH games of the double-header on Saturday, April 30th starting at 4pm. Please listen to the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium PA announcer for details as to what will be the designated inning. Again, foul balls ONLY caught in the stands are eligible.

-Following a recent report prepared by our Na Wahine Softball Booster Club treasurer Jerry Anaya, the Na Wahine Softball Booster Club is excited to report a substantial financial growth for the second half of the 2011 spring softball season. While booster club membership fees serve as a steady stream of funds for the program, our other primary source of funds have come via outright donations received either through our on-site cash collection during home games or various checks received from members and non-members alike for the Rainbow Wahine Softball program.

Of our total funds, outright donations in the form of cash received at home games and checks made payable to the UH Foundation for the Na Wahine Softball Booster Club in direct support of Rainbow Wahine Softball makes up 45% of our "income".

Expenses have been kept at a minimum. Currently, the booster club's largest expense to date is for the purchase of our koa premiums for our membership gifts as well as t-shirts for members as well of all total funds in the booster club account, including membership fees and outright cash donations, only about 7.5% reflects as expenses. The current ratio of expenses to gain has been a huge positive for the Na Wahine Softball Booster Club as we approach the end of our first year of operation and continue to move forward to help financially support and supplement the Rainbow Wahine Softball program.

None of this would be possible without our 76 members that have given what they can to help support the coaches and the student-athletes of the Rainbow Wahine Softball program. All funds received through the Na Wahine Softball Booster Club assist in funding the professional development of the coaches, post-game meals for the student-athletes, supplementation of summer school tuition for the student-athletes, any additional athletic equipment that may be needed and not covered by the annual budget, etc...

The Na Wahine Softball Booster Club is a non-profit entity operating under the umbrella of the University of Hawaii Foundation and in conjunction with Ahahui Koa Anuenue.



More of the Wahine Ohana

Shannon Lum and her mom Shawna.

Jazmine Zamora and her mom Cristina



Softball Scholar-Athletes for 2011

In this photo, in order from left to right: Makani Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu, Kelly Majam, Jori Jasper, Brynne Buchanan, Jessica Iwata, Tara Anguiano, Sarah Robinson, Dara Pagaduan, Alex Aguirre, Rachel Paragas, Stephanie Ricketts.