The Missouri Western softball team saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end against Hawaii Pacific on Monday with a 5-4 loss in Kaneohe, Hawaii. The loss dropped the Griffons to 16-4 early in the season.
Western would begin this past Thursday with a doubleheader against Chaminade University. It was obvious that the Griffons outmatched their opponents from the start, beating Chaminade by the scores of 9-2 and 9-3.
Brigham Young University didn’t fare any better against Western, as the Griffons swept Bringham in both games last Saturday by the scores of 4-3 and 7-3. By this point in their trip to Hawaii, Western had outscored their opponents 25-11.
A key factor for Western’s success this past week was the dynamic duo of pitchers Kenzie Hilzer and Barbs Billingsley. Hilzer, a freshman, is 7-2 on the season with a 4.27 earned run average, and five complete games. Not to be outdone, Billingsley, the junior, has pitched a staggering nine complete games, and is 9-2 with a 1.99 earned run average. Billingsley was recently named the MIAA Pitcher of the Week, as well as the Fastpitch News Pitcher of the Week.
Going into their final day on Hawaii, Western would extend their win streak to nine in their first game against Hawaii Pacific University by a score of 3-2. Going into the final game of the trip, the Griffons would go on to lose a tough one against Hawaii Pacific in extra innings by a score of 5-4. Three unearned runs would be the difference in the game, as two of those unearned runs came in the ninth inning due to a throwing error by senior first baseman Kailey Green. Hawaii Pacific would then win with a walk off RBI single.
“Coming down to Hawaii should be a good experience for the team,” Hilzer said earlier in the season.
Despite the one loss, Western would see a season high nine game winning streak, and now sit with a record of 16-4. As Coach Bagley said earlier in the season, a record like 16-4 is huge for this team, as this Friday, Western will finally open up at home against Lindenwood University.