HAWAII GROWN: UW’s Kaupe finding her groove

Washington freshman Nawai Kaupe, a 2017 Maui High alumna, hit two home runs on Sunday. Photo courtesy UW Athletics.

Washington freshman Nawai Kaupe made the most of her two starts in the Marry Nutter Collegiate Classic over the weekend, homering in both games of the Huskies’ two wins on Sunday to remain undefeated this season at 18-0.

The No. 1-ranked Washington softball team won 13 of its first 15 games in less than seven innings because of the mercy-run rule. Its last three games of the weekend tournament in Palm Springs, Calif., were all decided by four runs or less.

Kaupe started at shortstop in a 4-1 win over Wisconsin and was hit by a pitch and scored on an error in the fourth inning. She added a solo homer in the top of the sixth inning to put UW ahead 4-0.

The Huskies turned right around and finished the tournament with a 4-0 shutout of Long Beach State with Kaupe singling home a run in the first inning before blasting another homer out to right field in the third inning for the final run of the game.

The 2017 Maui High alumna, who also stole a base against LBSU, has made six starts this season and upped her average to .304 (7-for-23) with three homers, four RBIs and seven runs scored.

Washington will play its first home games of the season this weekend when it hosts Alabama, Northwestern, Brigham Young and Portland State.

UW junior catcher Rachel Ogasawara, a 2015 Kamehameha graduate, has started 10 games and has four hits, five RBIs and three runs scored. She had the first multi-RBI game of her career in the season opener against Saint Louis.

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