SPOTLIGHT: BPCC has a twin win

FOCUSED ON HOME: Sophomore Primrose Aholelei has dealt with homesickness while at Bossier Parish Community College, but she’s mastered finding home plate, leading the country’s junior colleges in strikeouts.

By HARRIET PROTHRO PENROD, Journal Sports

When asked to name the highlight of this season so far, Bossier Parish Community College pitcher Primrose Aholelei could choose any of many accomplishments:

  • Retiring all 15 Kilgore batters she faced in a perfect game and 12-0 victory May 2;
  • In that same game, recording her 300th strikeout of the season and going 2-for-3;
  • Striking out 17 batters in her 1-0, complete-game shutout over Trinity Valley on April 27;
  • Recording her 500th career strikeout in a victory against Navarro College;
  • Averaging over 13 strikeouts per game and being No. 1 in the nation in both strikeouts (315) and wins (26).

However, the Hawaii native would rather talk about all the accomplishments the Lady Cavs have as a team. That includes a second consecutive 40-win season (fifth in the last six seasons) and winning the 2022 Region XIV East Conference with a 22-2 conference record.

“What I will remember is what we have done as a team, not my accomplishments,” said Aholelei, who struck out 11 and allowed just one hit in BPCC’s 8-0 victory over Paris Junior College in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader.

The Lady Cavs (40-10 overall), who took Game 2 of the doubleheader 6-4 to finish conference play, close out the regular season with a doubleheader today against non-conference foe LSU-Eunice at the BPCC Softball Field. Then they will begin the 2022 Region XIV Tournament at San Jacinto-South on May 13.

With the tremendous success Aholelei has enjoyed this season, she admits to struggling “a little bit” with her pitching at the beginning of the season.

“I worked with coach (Amanda Nordberg) on the basics and my mechanics,” says Aholelei. “And I worked on my mindset.”

The work has paid off, as the redshirt sophomore has posted a 26-2 record so far and boasts a microscopic ERA (0.95). After giving up 14 home runs last season, she has reduced that to just five this spring.

“Prim has been such an amazing component to our program’s success,” says Nordberg, “including back-to-back Region XIV East Conference Championships. It has been a privilege to watch her develop into one of the best pitchers in the country. She has humbly worked hard the past few years and it has been so much fun watching that hard work pay off.”

The pitcher’s circle is not the only place Aholelei has had a bit of a struggle. As is the case with many college students, being away from home can be stressful. Multiply that by a few thousand miles and you’d understand just how far away from home we’re talking – 3,989 miles, to be exact.

So, what does she miss most about home in Honolulu? “The food and being around family,” she says.

When you’re one of eight children, it’s especially tough to cope with separation. Fortunately for Aholelei, however, she doesn’t have to look far to see some of her family. Just 43 feet away from the pitcher’s circle is her twin sister Precious, who plays catcher for the Lady Cavs.

“That has had a huge impact,” she says. “I feed off of her. It feels normal to have family here. I don’t know how I would be without her.”

The twins have been playing softball together since they were eight years old. Back then, however, it was Precious throwing to Primrose. “I was actually her catcher for a while,” she says.

They switched positions when they started playing 10-under ball and the rest, as they say, is history. But the Aholelei history will not end when the sisters leave BPCC as both will be playing on full scholarships at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi next season.

“It has been a dream of ours to play at a D(ivision) I school,” says Primrose, who’s had a dream season this spring.

Photo courtesy BPCC


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