Waimea vs. Kapa’a, 5:30 p.m. today at Kapa’a Ballpark

First-year Waimea head softball coach Teddy Perreira has a thousand things going through his mind, with his first game coming up today against Kapa’a.

But after today’s jitters are gone, there’ll be only one thing on his mind — a KIF title.

“The players from last year learned from those tough losses and this year, they’re hungry for the win,” Perreira said.

This year’s roster has a few fresh faces to go along with key returnees like Kanoe Carveiro, Moani Durant, and Kelsie Igne.

Last season, the Menehune came close to taking down the Red Raiders, with seniors Melissa Moreno and Daelene Perreira paving the way.

But despite some key losses, Waimea added Shana Tafiti, a transfer from Kaua’i, Chasen Sherman, a senior with athleticism, and a host of young players.

“I got a young disciplined team. I have a lot of girls who will be playing softball for the first time,” Perreira said.

Waimea’s starters inlcude Durant at thirdbase, Sherman at centerfield, Tatum Gonsalves at secondbase, Carveiro at leftfield, Kanani Mata at catcher, Igne at firstbase, Tafiti at shortstop, and Kelly Joyce is slated to get the nod at rightfield.

Tafiti, Sandra Koerte, Igne, and Mata are the captains. In preseason action, Waimea fared pretty well, with a 4-2 record in its Thanksgiving Invitational and in the Mililani Tournament, according to Perreira, the girls did really good.

“They’re looking forward to the KIF season to start. We just gotta battle and not take them (Kaua’i and Kapa’a) cheap,” Perreira said.

The Menehune are the only KIF team to win a state softball championship. Back in 1990, under then coach Albert Soto, the Menehune reigned supreme at Roosevelt Stadium.

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