ELEELE — The Kauai Senior Softball League packed the stands at the Eleele Softball Stadium and the Wailua Houselots Garden Park with exciting play and lots of run scoring hitting. West Kauai hosted three games in Eleele. Kawaihau put out the welcome mat at their home park in the Houselots Garden field.
West Kauai opened Eleele Park taking on Frank Bukoski’s Ohana. Both teams were tied in the league standings. Coach Neil Zaslow has turned West Kauai’s season around winning six of the last seven games with timely hitting and an improved defense.
Both starting pitchers controlled the power lineups — Bukoski for Ohana and Bambi Santos for West Kauai. Ohana came out swinging and got on top early and held on until both sides exchanged three-run innings. The game battled evenly for five innings. Late in the game a single pitch, one lob got away from Bukoski, and Dana Palama crushed a three-run home run into the back seats of the left field pavilion to power West Kauai to a 7-4 win.
Pat Baniaga’s Barteks took care of business with a relentless hitting display against Kuku’s Aces. The mid-morning matchup slowly built over the course of four-and-a-half innings. The Barteks posted scores in every inning and eventually got to the necessary 12-run advantage after four innings. Kuku DeCosta’s Aces put on a rally in the top of the fifth, plating two runs on four hits but fell short with the game called in the 5th with Barteks on top, 16-2.
The late game was a showdown between the Rookies and the Ohana Motors Rebels. The Rebels won the first encounter four weeks ago, and the Rookies had an upset on their mind. Rookies lead-off hitter Nelson Chiba ripped a single to start the game and scored on two subsequent base hits. That was the end of the Rookies scoring. Rebel pitcher Myles Yoshida got out of the inning and shut the door on the Rookies, posting a 9-1 win. Gary Yates bunch used three doubles and two triples to knock off the Rookies.
Ernie Koerte’s Kawaihau contingent was up early putting the final touches on their well-groomed garden in the Houselots. They met up with Sia Salausa’s Keonimana Gents. The Gents batting order is packed with great hitters. The visiting Gents rolled to a 16-1 win. They also showed a very stingy defense stopping Kawaihau to one run.
Joe Bertucci’s Islanders remain on a roll despite roster challenges as they faced the Hanamaulu Hillsiders. Lately, there has been a question of a full roster for the game. Peter Rayno always has the Hillsiders ready for a close game. He has been short-handed, too. The Islanders had to bring their big bats and put together a few knock out innings to hammer the Hillsiders, 14-4.
The day wrapped up with the Aloha Kia Lihue A’s and Da Kruzers. Da Kruzers are another up and coming team that has played with just nine in previous games. Dwight Fujii was looking for a change in fortunes for his A’s and turned his hitters loose. Like the past few games, Da Kruzers have had no problem put runs on the scoreboard and they got to A’s pitching for nine runs. But, once again, Barry Toy’s Kruzers could not hold off the eventual rallies falling to the Aloha Kia Lihue A’s experienced lineup, 15-9.
Kauai Senior Softball invades the Peter Rayno Softball Stadium and the Wally Sonoda Park in Kaumakani with three games tabbed for each field. In Hanamaulu, the Islanders will play host and start the games against Norman Holt’s East Kauai Legends. The Hillsiders will tangle with Kuku’s Aces in the middle contest, and the Aloha Kia Lihue A’s will have their hands full when they close out the day taking on the Keonimana Gents.
The Rookies will set the field in Kaumakani for play and kick off the game day with a town rivalry facing Barteks. The Rebels will meet up with red hot West Kauai in the mid morning game, and Da Kruzers get another Westside date pitted against Ohana. All games are scheduled to start at 9 a.m., 10:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.