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Hawaii Pacific Claims DII National Championship With 4-3 Win Over Valdosta

 Game 13 - Championship Game 
No. 3 Hawaii Pacific 4, No. 2 Valdosta State 1 | Box Score 

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. - The Hawaii Pacific Sea Warriors claimed their first national championship in school history on Monday, when they topped Valdosta State, 4-3, in the 2010 NCAA Division II National Championship game at Heritage Park in St. Joseph in a battle of the tournament's two undefeated teams. 

Valdosta struck the first blow in the contest in the bottom of the first when senior Alyssa Shirey blasted a ball to center field that allowed sophomore Marti Littlefield and junior Melessa Jackson to score and give the Blazers an early 2-0 lead. 

The score held at 2-0 until the top of the fifth inning when the bats came alive for Hawaii Pacific. Freshman Ciara Pires led off the inning with a single to left field that would be the first of six hits for the Sea Warriors in the frame. 

Two at bats later, Pires closed the gap to one run when she scored off of a bunt single from freshman Chante Tesoro that was followed by a Valdosta error at second base. 

The Sea Warriors tied the game at two later in the inning off of a single from senior Casey Sugihara that allowed Tesoro to cross the plate. 

Sophomore Maile Kim gave her team the lead in the following at bat by driving a single up the middle that scored senior Ciera Senas from third base. 

Hawaii Pacific scored its final run of the inning and of the game on the subsequent at bat by freshman Nicole Morrow. Morrow reached base via a fielder's choice to the shortstop giving Sugihara the chance to cross the plate. 

The Blazers pulled within one in the bottom of the inning on an error by Hawaii Pacific that allowed sophomore Amber Shaw to score after Shirey had been retired on a caught pop-foul ball to left field. 

Valdosta had several opportunities to score in the final innings of the game, leaving seven runners on board in the final three frames of the contest. 

Senior pitcher Sherise Musquiz of Hawaii Pacific showed why she was named as the Most Outstanding Player of the championship tournament in the seventh inning by retiring the final two batters of the inning with the bases loaded. 

"It was a great victory for our team," head coach Brian Nakasone said after the game. "We worked hard and the kids worked hard and prepared well. We scored all four runs in that one inning and just held them down." 

In the circle on the day, it was Muquiz getting the win for the Sea Warriors, while junior Holly Satterfield got the loss for the Blazers. 

Musquiz allowed just two earned runs off of 10 hits with two strikeouts on to finish the season at 34-3, while Satterfield's season comes to a close at 27-3 after allowing three runs off of four hits with four strikeouts over 4.1 innings of work 

The 2010 NCAA Divsion II National Champions Hawaii Pacific will close the book on their year with a record of 50-8, while Valdosta ends their season at 51-9. 

To view the entire 2010 NCAA Division II All-Tournament Team, click here.