Kaua‘i faces Sacred Hearts for state title

HONOLULU — It took four innings, but the Kaua‘i bats finally woke up.

Trailing 3-0 in the fifth, Nicole Larue tripled to right, scoring Jori Jasper for Kaua‘i’s first run of the game in the state softball semifinal against un-seeded Maryknoll.

Randi Oketani was hit by a pitch and stole second, putting two in scoring position for Wailana Borrero, who did not disappoint. Borrero doubled to right-center for 2 RBI. Jessica Iwata then singled left, advancing Borrero to third. Both runner advanced on a catcher’s error, plating Kaua‘i’s fourth run.

Iwata moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice bunt from Krystal Ijima, rounding out Kaua‘i’s five-run surge as the Raiders went on to defeat the Spartans 6-4 to advance to the championship game against the Sacred Hearts Lancers.

Kaua‘i added an insurance run in the seventh on a scrappy rally started when Oketani singled to center with one out, then advanced to second on a Borrero sacrifice bunt. Iwata singled to the left center and plating Oketani for the Raiders’ final run.

Allowing four runs on six hits, Borrero got the win, striking out one and walking four along the way.

In the loss, Maryknoll pitcher Ariel Silva struck out six and walked two.

Overall, the Raiders picked up six runs on seven hits while committing three errors.

Iwata led the Kaua‘i attack, going 2-4 and scoring once. Oketani had a hit and scored twice, and Borrero went 1-3 with 2 RBI and run.

Pinch hitter Larue made the most of her plate appearance, going 1-1 with a run and an RBI.

Hillary Uekawa, Heather Uekawa, Joni Shimomura and Korrie Higa scored for the Spartans, and Kimberly Okaneku had 2 hits and 2 RBI.

Sacred Hearts defeated fourth-ranked Kamehameha Hawai‘i 5-0 to earn its second-straight championship berth.

Second-seeded Kaua‘i plays top-ranked Sacred Hearts today at the University of Hawai‘i Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium at 6 p.m.

Earlier in the day, the Raiders scored 8 unanswered after an overnight rain delay to defeat Pahoa 14-7 in a game that started Thursday night.

This is the third year in a row the Raiders made it to the state tournament. Last year, they were eliminated by Sacred Hearts.

Waimea High was the last Kaua‘i team to win a state softball championship, in 1990.

Both championship games will be broadcast on OC16 and KORL 1180 AM.

• Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com.

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