Menehune close with solid win over Kapa‘a

KAPA‘A — Kanani Mata and Jazzelyn Bradbury led the Waimea bats to a 10-5 win over Kapa‘a in the final Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation softball game, Wednesday.

Coming off a dual loss at the hands of the Kaua‘i Red Raiders, Saturday, in its final home game, the Menehune scored early and topped the win with four runs in the seventh.

Despite the loss, Kapa‘a has already secured the KIF second place berth and will earn a trip for a play-in game for the Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association Division II state championships. The state playoffs start May 14 to 17 on O‘ahu, and Kapa‘a will play a Maui team on May 13 for the right to advance in the championships.

Kapa‘a pitcher Melina Obar suffered the loss, giving up eight hits to Waimea batters while Menehune freshman hurler Brandee Matsushima picked up the win, allowing five runs on four hits while striking out one and walking three.

The Warriors were in catch-up mode from the onset as Waimea capitalized on an opening walk to Matsushima who went on to score via courtesy runner Hayden Igne who crossed the plate on an Ona Defabian RBI single in the first plate.

From there, Mata, hitting on a bases-loaded situation, cranked into a deep triple to clear the bases and give Waimea a 4-0 lead which stood until the fourth inning.

Kapa‘a took the lead by scoring all five of its runs in that inning as Jocelyn Enrique, Amber Pigao, Lokelani Manaku, Obar and Leeanna Baltazar crossed the plate.

Waimea answered back with two runs in the sixth and iced the win by scoring four runs in the seventh inning.

Mata finished one short of a cycle, going 3-4 with a single, double and triple with three RBIs and scored once in the seventh.

Bradbury was a perfect 3-3 with a single, double and triple with two RBI and scored in the second inning.

Defabian (1-2) had an RBI and scored in the seventh, joined by Shana Tafiti (1-4) with an RBI and scoring in the seventh.

Tauina Tafiti (2-4), Shelly Koerte (2-4) and Mariebeth Watanabe (1-5) rounded out the Menehune bats.

Joining courtesy runner Igne, Laura Rita scored twice and Chelsea Nawai scored once.

Hanalei Gomes led the Kapa‘a bats with a 1-2 showing with two RBI on a double followed by Pigao (1-2) who scored once and had an RBI. Ku‘ulei Smith (1-3) singled with two RBIs, and Enrique (1-3) singled with a score.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or


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