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Former Castle Standout Li‘ili‘i BWC Player Of The Week

University of Hawaii softball standout Leisha Li‘ili‘i ended her college career in much the same way she began — with a flourish.

Indeed, consider it only fitting that the Kaneohe native and former Castle High standout was chosen as Big West Conference Player of the Week for the final week of the 2015 season. Since arriving on campus as a freshman back in 2011, Li‘ili‘i had an immediate impact in the lineup for UH, earning Freshman of the Year Honors.

Four years later, Li‘ili‘i will depart the program as one of the school’s most prolific hitters ever. Her efforts did not go unnoticed by Big West Coaches, who selected her as First Team All-Conference in a vote at season’s end. It marked the fourth straight year Li‘ili‘i earned All-Conference honors and the third in a row she made the First Team. She had been a Second Team All- Conference selection as a freshman when Hawaii was still part of the Western Athletic Conference.

All told, Li‘ili‘i batted .325 (51-for-157) in her senior season this spring, producing a team-high 11 home runs, 37 RBI, and 51 hits. She also led UH with 10 multiple-RBI games and recorded multiple hits on 13 occasions. In Big West play, Li‘ili‘i hit .400 (26-for-65), to go with a slugging percentage of .662. She was also Hawaii’s leader in home runs (5) and RBI (15) in Big West games.

Li‘ili‘i came up especially big in the final week of her career, when she batted .778 (7-for-9), to go with 7 RBI and a slugging percentage of 1.556 in leading Hawaii to a sweep of UC-Davis.

Her output helped UH outscore the Aggies 30-to-7 in the three-game conference series.

Li‘ili‘i homered twice and hit a double to lead UH’s offense, which launched 10 total home runs to propel UH to its first series sweep of the season. Li‘ili‘i’s two home runs boosted her career total to 49, which ranks No. 3 in the Hawaii record books. She also drove in seven runs, which enabled her move into the No. 3 spot on the school’s career RBI record list with 155.

Li‘ili‘i started all 215 games in her career and leaves UH with a .334 batting average (201-for-601). Her most recent Big West Player of the Week Honor was the fourth of her career.

She earned the award twice as a sophomore and was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week once as a freshman in 2012.

Hawaii went 13-8 in the Big West Conference this spring, which was good for third place. UH went 32-22 overall.

jackster.1969@ yahoo.com