KAPA’A – Hail to the Champions!
Taking nothing for granted, the Waimea Menehune clinched the 2003 Kaua’i Interscholastic Federation prep softball title with an 11-1 six-inning road win over the Warriors Wednesday evening at the Kapa’a Ball Park.
With ace Lynette Perreira in peak form on the hill, the Menehune rapped out 10 hits and played error-free defense to improve to 10-2 on the year and secure the lone KIF berth to the HHSAA Hawai’i Softball State Championships on Oahu in February. In picking up her league-leading 9th victory in 11 starts, Perreira limited the Warriors to a sole fifth-inning earned run on 4 hits, while striking out 3 and walking none.
Waimea got on the board in the first as Perreiras high pop single off Warrior starter Chas’arae Labuguen fell untouched just beyond the second base bag to knock in leadoff Alexis Nawai (who had also singled). Daeleen Perreira lined a clutch single to left an out later to drive home Ashley Mier (aboard on the first of four Warrior errors) and L. Perreira for a 3-0 advantage.
Melissa Moreno walked to lead off the visitors fourth and advanced to third as a Nawai bunt single was thrown away. Nawai promptly stole second and Moreno plated on a Mier single to left to go up another run. Kodi Oyama followed with a solid single to right to score Nawai. After Oyama was caught stealing, L. Perreira clutched an RBI-single to center to tally Mier and put the west-siders up by six.
After walking two of the first three batters in the fifth, a Warrior pitching change was effected with Jackie Alapai seeing her first action of the season in relief of Labuguen. The Menehune quickly added a pair of gift runs though as Jessica Rita and Mier raced in when a L. Perreira grounder was misplayed.
Kapa’a countered with a run of their own as Theresa Taylor opened with a solid single to right, advanced a bag on Eliza Vicoys sac bunt, stole third, and subsequently raced in on a Perreira delivery-in-the-dirt that got away from the steady Oyama behind the plate.
The Menehune ended the contest early as Elena Souza singled and scored on pinch hitter Jenalyn Andres sinking triple down the right field line for a 9-1 lead. One out later, Moreno and Nawai walked, and Mier dropped an RBI-single into short left to cash in Andres. Moreno raced to the plate with the final Menehune run on an Oyama ground-out to the right side and Perreira induced three ground-ball outs around a Kassandra Wong single (in her final home game as a Warrior) to close out the contest after six frames due to the 10-run rule.
Nawai (2-3, 2 runs), Mier (2-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs), Oyama (1-5, 2 RBIs), L. Perreira (2-4, run, 2 RBIs), D. Perreira (1-2, 2 RBIs), Andres (1-1, triple, run, RBI), Moreno (2 runs), Rita (run scored), and Souza (1-3, run) paced the Waimea offensive attack.
Left fielder Theresa Taylor (2-2, 2 stolen bases, run, 2 putouts) excelled for the Warriors.
Labuguen, who took the loss, allowed 8 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits and 9 walks in 4-1/3 inning pitched. In 1-2/3 frames of relief, Alapai gave up 3 earned runs on 3 hits and 2 walks, with 1 strikeout.
The Warriors look to close out the KIF softball regular season on a high note with a 1 p.m. double-header on Saturday, January 25, against the Kaua’i Red Raiders at Isenberg Field in Lihu’e.