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Kevins Corner

"FALL DOMINATION AND CAREER MILESTONE CONGRATULATIONS!!!"

By Kevin Kacatin
November 29, 2011

HONOLULU, Hawaii --Aloha Rainbow Wahine Softball fans!

The 2011 fall season has come and gone and it was quite an eventful one featuring career milestones to offensive flurries on the softball field!

The Rainbow Wahine Softball program has had it's share of high points over the years, including two NCAA super regional appearances, a Women's College World Series appearance, countless UH and NCAA records broken, individual All-WAC and All-American honors, as well as numerous academic and athletic honors just to name a few, but the months of October and November yielded two honors celebrating the careers of two prominent Hawaii softball personalities.

On Friday October 21, 2011, the University of Hawaii's Circle of Honor inducted the iconic and unforgettable Brooke Wilkins into their elite class of individuals that have made historic impacts for the University of Hawaii. In just two seasons with the Rainbow Wahine, Brooke Wilkins left her mark as the most dominant pitcher in the program's history. She was a two-time All-American and led Hawai'i to back-to-back NCAA Regional appearances in 1994 and '95.

A native of Australia, Wilkins shattered school career records for wins (58), including 32 shutouts and five no-hitters, strikeouts (585), and earned run average (0.68). As a freshman, she led the Rainbow Wahine to a 51-14 record, their first-ever Big West Conference championship, and a No. 7 national ranking. In 1995, she earned her second Big West Pitcher of the Year award and became the program's first NFCA first-team All-American with another 29-win season. She led UH to within two wins of its first Women's College World Series appearance.

Once rated as one of the fastest pitchers in the world, Wilkins represented Australia in three Olympics, winning bronze in 1996 and 2000 and silver in 2004. Upon completion of her international career, she was inducted into the Softball Australia Hall of Fame in 2008.

Please stay tuned to our site as our webmaster is compiling material for our tribute page to the softball program's FIRST-EVER UH Circle of Honor inductee!!! It will feature some photos from Brooke Wilkins' playing days at UH and a few "testimonials" from the people that know Wilkins' the best.

Recently, this past weekend head coach Bob Coolen received another notch in his belt of milestones and accomplishments. University of Hawai'i head softball coach Bob Coolen was inducted in to the Brockton High School Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, November 19 at the Shaw Conference Center in Brockton, Mass.

Coolen, who graduated in 1976, was one of 11 members selected to the Boxers' Hall of Fame's Class of 2011. While at Brockton High School, Coolen earned 9 varsity letters—three in football as a split end/slot back; three in baseball as a pitcher; and three in swimming as a freestyle sprinter. He was an All-State Swimmer for his participation on the 200 Medley Relay Team which captured 1st at the State Tournament and was the Most Valuable Player of the State Baseball Tournament in 1976. It is the 26th induction ceremony for the Brockton Hall of Fame.

Congratulations to both Brooke Wilkins and Bob Coolen on their well-deserved honors this fall!!!

While awards and recognition flowed off the softball field, runs and strike outs were being accumulated on the field throughout the fall. Through four exhibition games featuring a three game series against Chaminade and a single game on Maui against UH Hilo, the Rainbow Wahine out-scored their fall exhibition opponents 55-3! Rainbow Wahine fans can look forward to a healthy combination of experience and youth when the 2012 season rolls around!

BOOSTER CLUB NEWS AND UPDATES

On Saturday November 12, the Rainbow Wahine Softball team and the Na Wahine Softball Booster Club traveled to Maui as the Rainbow Wahine played an exhibition game against the University of Hawaii at Hilo Vulcans. The Na Wahine Softball Booster Club received dozens of donations and introduced the Maui fans to our mission of financially supporting the Rainbow Wahine Softball program. The response was promising and we feel confident that the Rainbow Wahine have made new life-long Hawaii softball fans on the Valley Isle! We cannot thank the people of Maui enough for their hospitality, enthusiasm, and generosity!!!

As we mentioned in previous newsletters, the Maui trip and it's initial costs were covered through the Na Wahine Softball Booster Club, but thanks to the "kokua" of our members, the Rainbow Wahine Softball coaching staff is literally on their way to the 2011 National Fast pitch Coaches Association's National Convention in Las Vegas, NV! We cannot stress enough how crucial it is for the coaching staff of any division one softball program to attend these annual conferences.

A wide variety of topics will be covered during the week-long conference beginning on November 30th and ending on December 3rd. Topics such as the latest innovations in softball equipment to discussions with regards to the future of the sport are covered and the multiple networking opportunities presented during the conference will play a vital role in the advancement of the Rainbow Wahine Softball program for the benefit of the student-athletes of today and tomorrow. For more information and details about the 2011 NFCA National Convention, you may visit their official website at:
http://ftp.nfca.org/11convention/NFCANationalConventionISM.html All CURRENT booster club members for the 2012 season should be receiving their membership cards soon. Your membership cards for the 2012 season will now give you discounts at all UH Rainbowtique locations in addition to discounts at the concession stands at all home UH events for various sports. More details will be available once you receive your cards.

In early December we will be mailing out another batch of order forms for our exclusive Under Armour Na Wahine Softball Booster Club polo shirts with a portion of the proceeds going towards the Rainbow Wahine Softball program.

Don't forget to join the Na Wahine Softball Booster Club in the world of social media! We are close to 300 friends on Facebook, including booster club members, letterwinners, and alumnae! Also, we nearly doubled our followers on our Twitter account! The Na Wahine Softball Booster Club utilizes our Facebook and Twitter accounts to update boosters and fans on current events on the Rainbow Wahine Softball program as well as booster club news and our Facebook page has become a valuable tool in keeping touch with the letterwinners and alumnae of the Rainbow Wahine Softball program.

A step ahead!!! That's right we started accepting membership renewals as early as the summer of 2011 and it's already paying off!!! To date we have about 30 members from the 2011 spring season that have already renewed and we anticipate more as the 2012 spring season approaches!!!

We're online!!! The Na Wahine Softball Booster Club is now ready to accept membership applications online!!! Please check our "online membership". Potential members will still be able to print out our application form and mail in a check if they wish as well, just click under "Application Form" on our menu page also.

Stay tuned right here for an upcoming announcement on a new opportunity for the fans and boosters to actively participate in the game to game progression of the 2012 team. This new initiative will get our boosters and fans to feel directly involved with the 2012 spring season and will provide further financial support for the program as well.

ALUMNAE COME HOME!!! The Na Wahine Softball Booster Club is proud to have many letterwinners and alumnae as members as they are a vital part of what makes this program successful on and off the field. Their sacrifice in the classroom and on the softball field will never be forgotten and to have them still giving back and supporting the softball program is truly what makes this program unique. Come on down and support the 2012 team and our Rainbow Wahine alumnae as well!!!

FInd us on Facebook at http://facebook.com/NaWahineSoftballBoosters and follow us on Twitter at "@NaWahineSB".

SEE YOU AT THE RAINBOW WAHINE SOFTBALL STADIUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Ne'epapa I Ke O Mau" - Forever Moving Forward Together

Na Wahine Jordie Burton was surprised on her trip to Maui when some family friends Tom and Sandy Newman who had been vacationing on Maui show up to support her at the game.


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