Waimea works to win over much-improved Kapa‘a

WAIMEA — The red flower came off the ear, and the break-away leftfield fence dropped twice as Waimea chipped out a 6-2 win over Kapa‘a yesterday.

Early in the game, the Kapa‘a secondbase player was told to take the flower out of her hair. Later in the game, Kapa‘a leftfielder Amber Pigao sprawled out as she attempted to field a solo Shana Tafiti homerun that soared well past the breakaway in the third inning.

The fireworks started earlier as Kapa‘a starting pitcher Stephanie Kawamura jumped off the mound to keep Waimea at bay, with back-to-back strikeouts in the first inning, leaving Moani Durant stranded at first, the Menehune thirdbase getting the bag on a blinker, shortstop-to-first.

“Stephanie has come a long way,” said Kris Borrero who was watching the game with the Kaua‘i High School players. “Daryl said this year is going to be tough. It’s going to be like this every game.”

Waimea opened the scorebooks in the second inning, added more in the third, and capped their 6-2 win in the fourth inning.

Kelsie Igne motored to second on a mishandled hit in rightfield and scored on a sacrifice by Whitney Yadao. In the third inning, Kapa‘a could not answer the run as Kawamura singled with two away and was left hanging.

Shana Tafiti stepped into the first Kawamura pitch with one out in the third for the solo shot to deep leftfield that dropped well beyond the breakaway section for the 2-0 bulge.

But Kapa‘a came back as Loke Manaku answered with a solo shot in the fourth inning, the same breakaway section going down. Makaleka Ferreira represented the tying run, getting first on a walk with two out. That hope died as Ferreira was gunned down on a steal attempt.

Moani Durant lit up the boards with a 2-RBI shot in the fourth frame to highlight Waimea’s 3-run fourth for the 5-1 reading.

Hanalei Gomes, getting her second hit of the night, stole second and came home as Waimea pitcher Cassie Koerte walked her home with two outs and the bases loaded in the fifth frame.

That was a pivotal inning for Waimea pitcher Cassie Koerte who, with two outs, allowed Gomes’ single, a walk to Kawamura and another hit from Jocelyn Enrique to load the bags before walking Manaku to score Gomes. She got out of the inning by striking out the final Kapa‘a batter.

Kawamura, in the loss, was steady through the contest, and against Durante in the fourth inning, threw a total of 11 pitches (8 fouls) before Durante smacked the 2-RBI hit. She finished with 6 runs allowed on 11 Waimea hits, struck out two and walked two.

Koerte picked up the win with the two runs allowed on five Kapa‘a hits, struck out three and walked three.

The Kapa‘a defense made some tough plays in the loss as well, centerfielder Rachel Smith grabbing a Kanani Mata hit on the fly to end the contest.

Kaua‘i will host Waimea Saturday at Isenberg Field. Due to testing, the first contest will start at 2 p.m. for the double-header.

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