KAPA’A – The Kaua’i Red Raiders took full advantage of the blustery conditions and some timely offense to close out the first round of Kaua’i Interscholastic Federation softball play with a 13-2 and 24-9 twin bill sweep of the Warriors Saturday afternoon at the Kapa’a Ball Park.
Game 1: Kaua’i 13, Kapa’a 2. The Raiders cranked out 6 extra base hits (5 doubles, triple) in the initial five-inning affair behind the big bat of lead-off A.J. Silva. Silva was a perfect 4-4 from the plate with a triple, double, 2 singles, 3 runs scored and an RBI to her credit.
Kaua’i jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first and extended it by an additional trio of runs in each of the second and third frames.
The Raiders pushed across their final score of the contest in the fourth as hot-hitting Angela Kirchner doubled with one down, advanced to third on an Ana Quibilan ground-out, and plated on a passed ball for a 13-0 lead.
While keeping the home squad off balance with a hard-earned no-hitter through 4-1/3 innings, Kaua’i starter Ku’ulei Manintin suddenly experienced a bit of a wild streak at the start of the fifth frame. After getting an initial fly out, she walked the next three Kapa’a batters and Head Coach Jacqueline Inouye opted to bring on Sheri Gebauer in relief.
Warrior batter Kerry-Ann Kupihea was unintentionally plunked to force in Theresa Taylor with the first run for the home squad and a subsequent two-out single up the box by Sandy Pimental knocked in Moana DeSilva. Gebauer then settled down to get the closing fielders choice out to end the contest.
In addition to Silva’s 4-4 effort, the Raider offense was also paced by doubles from Jenna Mercado, Kirchner, Manintin, and Ashley Nonaka. Mercado additionally scored twice and drove in a pair while Kirchner went 1-3 (double, scored a run, 2 RBIs) in the contest.
Game 2: Kaua’i 24, Kapa’a 9. Despite improved Warrior run-scoring output, the visitors pounded out 17 hits to hold off Kapa’a in a second five-inning affair.
Kaua’i again made good use of its excellent team speed on the base paths and clutch hitting to all fields to take a 13-1 lead into the home half of the second.
Despite the early deficit, the Warriors suddenly erupted to their best single-inning offensive effort of the season with 6 runs to trim the lead to 13-7. With one down and the bags filled with Warriors, junior center fielder Sandy Pimental, who tripled in the first frame, ripped a dramatic line drive grand slam to right to begin the rally. An unintentional plunking and fielding error put Chasarae Labuguen and Kassandra Wong aboard and Shantell Wong responded with a high flying double to left center to knock in the pair.
Both teams traded runs in the third before the Raiders put the game out of reach with a 9-run fourth, climaxed by a long Manintin bases-clearing grand slam liner into the gusts in left to go up 23-8.
Kaua’i got another run in the fifth as Kainoa Dejos beat out a two-out infield single to the left side, moved to second on a wild pitch, stole third, and raced in on a second errant delivery.
Kapa’a capped the scoring in the final home half as Pimental popped a high single to short center, advanced on a K. Wong base on balls, and streaked home on a S. Wong single to right.
Once again, the Raider offense had many willing contributors. Silva concluded the contest with a 2-3 effort at the plate and scored twice. Ulu Kelekoma belted out 3 hits in 4 appearances and scored once while knocking in a run. Jenna Mercado went 3-5 with 2 runs and 3 RBIs. Designated hitter Ashley Nonaka had a breakout performance, going 4-4 with 3 runs and 4 RBI. In addition to picking up her second win of the day on the hill, Manintin hit a home run and scored three times while driving in 5 runs.
Manintin gave up 7 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits and 2 walks (with 1 K) in two innings of work. Gebauer again came on in relief and finished the final three frames in allowing 2 earned runs on 3 hits, 2 walks, while striking out 5.
Pimental, who fell a double short of hitting for the coveted cycle, finished 4-4 at the plate (2 singles, triple, home run, 3 runs, 4 RBI) in a losing effort. S. Wong contributed two hits (single, double) and drove in 3 runs for Kapa’a.
Labuguen and K. Wong took turns throwing for the Warriors, who fell to 0-6 on the season.
The Raiders, who finished a scant one-game back of first round champ Waimea (5-1), improved to 4-2 on the season with the twin killing.
The KIF second round of play begins on Wednesday, January 8, as Kaua’i hosts the Menehune in a critical 5:30 p.m. contest at Isenberg Field.