LIHU’E – The aggressive Kaua’i Red Raiders picked up their first win of the KIF softball season with a resounding 35-3 win in five innings over the Kapa’a Warriors, Tuesday morning at Isenberg Field. In the holiday spirit of giving, both squads combined for 16 errors.
The Warriors jumped ahead early off starter Ku’ulei Manintin in the top of the first on 2 walks, 4 base hits and a pair of Raider errors. Kapa’a lead-off hitter Sandy Pimental (walk) scored the contests initial run on an RBI-single up the box by Kassandra Wong. A hard two-out Theresa Taylor smash to the right side drove in K. Wong and Taylor, in turn, scored on a Shantell Wong drive up the middle for a 3-0 advantage.
Kaua’i stormed back in the home half with 10 runs on 4 hits, 1 walk, 3 hit batters, and 5 fielding errors, highlighted by Ulu Kelekomas two-run round-tripper to center and a Manintin double down the third base line.
After putting the Warriors down in order to start the second, the Raiders erupted for another 12 runs on 10 hits, 1 walk, and 3 errors to take a 22-3 lead into the third. Major contributors to the barrage were third baseman Kainoa Dejos, center fielder Ashley Silva, first baseman Jenna Mercado, and Manintin (single, double) who achieved the rare feat of pairing hits in the same frame.
Second-year head coach Jacqueline Inouye made the first of many defensive changes in the third and despite walking a pair in the inning, Kaua’i kept the Warriors from cashing in.
A pair of RBI-ground-outs by Silva and Cherisse Simeona led to a pair of Raider runs in the home half and a subsequent wild pitch allowed Dejos to plate for a 25-3 bulge.
Sheri Gebauer relieved Manintin on the hill to start the fourth and proceeded to strike out the side despite a two-out single by Warrior Jemme Saronitman.
Kaua’i added 10 runs in the bottom half on 5 singles, 4 walks, 1 hit batter, a sacrifice bunt, and 3 Warrior throwing miscues. A pair of Gebauer singles in the frame punctuated the final Raider offensive thrust.
Two Ana Quibilan-Robin Jose put-outs and a line drive catch by Silva in center ended the contest after 4-1/2 innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Manintin picked up the win for the Raiders and limited Kapa’a to 3 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and 4 walks, with 1 strikeout. Gebauer pitched a shutout over the final two innings and held the visitors to a solo single, while picking up 3 Ks.
Manintin also excelled with a bat for the victors and rapped a pair of doubles and two singles in 6 at-bats, while driving in and scoring three runs. Quibilan led the Raiders in scoring with 5 runs while teammate Silva added 4 singles, 4 stolen bases, 4 runs, and 3 RBIs.
Chasa’rae Labuguen took the loss for Kapa’a. Pimental and K. Wong also saw duty on the hill for the visitors, who fell to 0-3.
The undefeated Waimea Menehune (3-0) travel to Lihu’e on Saturday, December 28, to take on the Red Raiders (1-1) in a critical first round double-header. The first contest is slated to begin at noon.