Fenumiai, HPU win PacWest (Softball)

May 8, 2011

Brittany Fenumiai

It’s easy to assume Alaska’s Brittany Fenumiai went to Hawaii Pacific University for the surf, sand and sun.

But it ain’t like that.

“The beach is probably my last priority,” she told me, “although I wish it was my first priority.”

In reality, Fenumiai came to the Islands to be near her sister and play softball. Already it feels just like home – that is, she’s winning.

Hawaii Pacific (37-10) won the PacWest Conference championship for the first consecutive season and earned an automatic berth to the NCAA D2 Tournament.

“It’s great,” she said. “It kind of reminds me of high school. I really enjoy it. My teammates and my coaches, too, they make it easier.”

Fenumiai, of Juneau-Douglas fame, has played in 20 of the team’s 47 games as a freshman reserve infielder.

She is hitting .238 with five hits in 21 at-bats, a far cry from her senior season in high school when she was the Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year.

“I’ve learned quite a it,” she said of the transition. “The coaches, they are so knowledgeable. They break down everything, whether it’s foot placement, how you hit the ball or how you position yourself.

“It’s crazy how much I’ve learned.”

In the field Fenumiai has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage on 11 chances.

In the classroom she is working hard toward her degree.

Most days, it means skipping the beach.

“When it comes to school and studying, I know I have to get it done,” Fenemiai said.