KAPAA — The Kauai Senior Softball League rolled into the home stretch of the season with a packed schedule at the Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex in Kapaa and Hanapepe Stadium. The East Kauai Legends served as hosts for four Kapaa games while Barteks got their newly improved diamond sparkling for the three games on the Westside.
Norman Holt’s Legends had their hands full in the opener up against the Aloha Kia Lihue A’s. Dwight Fujii has the A’s back on a tear and geared up for the early morning contest with the lineup from the East side. Lihue banged out just enough offense to come away with an 8-3 win and remain hot on the heels of the league leaders.
The Islanders and their rotating lineup came up the coast to face Ernie Koerte’s Kawaihau squad. Both teams come to the plate with hitters, experience and can score at will. Kawaihau scrapped their way to seven runs against a challenging Islander defense. Joe Bertucci called on his surging offense and got a 17-run answer and the Islanders posted an impressive 17-7 victory.
Frank Bukoski brought the Ohana team bus to Kapaa for a matchup with the Hanamaulu Hillsiders. While Pete Rayno has put together a tight defense and timely offense, Ohana has an advantage with hitting. The long ball proved to be too much as Ohana slugged their way to an 18-3 knockout.
A fourth game was slated in Kapaa as Kawaihau and the East Kauai Legends made up a previously rained out contest. The two neighbor teams went after it in an all out contest. The pitchers took over and kept the usual hot hitting down along with good defense. Ernie Koerte’s Kawaihau squeaked by with a tight 6-5 victory.
The voggy morning sun shown down on a perfectly groomed diamond in Hanapepe. Barteks opened the games taking on the Ohana Motors Rebels. These two teams have a history of close down to the wire games. The stadium was rocked by 53 hits in the game — 29 by the Rebels and 24 by Barteks. The lead in the game changed hands four times with Barteks taking a 12-11 lead into the seventh inning. Gary Yates got the Rebels to rally for seven runs in the top of the seventh to run off with an 18-16 win over Pat Baniaga’s seasoned bunch.
Sia Salausa and the Keonimana Gents came West for a date with Kuku DeCosta’s Aces. The Aces are not a team to back down in the face of goliath and came out swinging. The Aces lead off put a run on the board in the first inning and showed their defense holding off the Gents. The day got even better when the Aces stung the Gents with a series of hits that brought home a five-run inning. The stunning rally woke up the Gents, and Keonimana put a quick end to the game with a 19-6 win.
Alan Horikawa and the Rookies have it back on track in their game with Da Kruzers. Barry Toy was once again forced to take the field with nine Kruzers suited up against an over loaded Rookies lineup. John Pimental and Nelson Chiba blasted home runs to lead the Rookies to a 16-0 shut out.
The Kauai Senior Softball league is headed into the home stretch of the schedule with games moving to the Wally Sonoda Softball Field in Kaumakani and the garden arena at Ohana Motors Stadium in the Puhi Park. The Rookies invite the Islanders to join them for the early Kaumakani contest. Ohana takes on the Aloha Kia Lihue A’s in the mid-morning match and the Keonimana Gents will be on the Westside to go up against Barteks. The Rebels will host Kawaihau. The East Kauai Legends will be next up taking on West Kauai, and the final game will feature Da Kruzers and the Hanamaulu Hillsiders. Games will commence at 9 a.m., 10:15 a.m. an 11:30 a.m.