Pac-Five 4, Kauai 2 – HONOLULU — Britney Hagihara blasted a line drive over third base to drive in the two runs that would end Kauai’s reign as No. 1. Hagihara and the unranked Pac-Five Wolf Pack upset top-ranked Kaua‘i High School 4-2 yesterday in the DataHouse/Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association Division II State Softball Championships.
Kaua‘i held the lead at 2-1 throughout most of the game until Pac-Five came up with an explosive sixth inning.
With Pac-Five’s Keline Yoshimura at third base and Samantha Ford at first, Angie Yoshizu doubled to drive Yoshimura in for the tie. Pac-Five then had two on base with catcher Hagihara at the plate. She turned in the Wolf Pack’s third consecutive hit in as many batters in the sixth.
Alena Hookana threatened to build on Wolf Pack’s hitting spree with a launch over to left field. What looked like a home run, Shereen Doi came up with a big and much-needed catch for the Red Raiders.
Kaua‘i had one last chance at the top of the seventh to make a comeback.
Doi was walked and was advanced and a clutch-hit from pinch hitter Carly Matsumoto. With two runners on base, and no outs, Kaua‘i was still in the game.
Jaezelle Balilea swung on a pitch for a strong hit, but it went straight to the shortstop Yoshizu who made the catch for the out and made it in time for the double play to second base.
But that still left Matsumoto on base and Krystal Ijima up to bat, who came up with a single.
The pressure was on for pitcher and Kaua‘i Interscholastic Player of the Year Wailana Borrero. Borrero banged one back toward the fence between right and center field. It looked like Borrero was going yard and reclaiming the lead for Kaua‘i.
Pac-Five made the catch, ending the game and the season for Kaua‘i.
“At first, when I hit the ball, I thought it was going (out of the park),” Borrero said. “But it didn’t go. All I know is that this is disappointing.”
It was also a much different scene among the Red Raider players at the end of this year’s state championship final. Last year, Kaua‘i made it all the way to the state finals for the first time, and although the girls lost out to Sacred Hearts, they were genuinely happy for themselves.
“Last year, we didn’t think we’d make it that far. But this year, we knew we could take it,” Borrero said. “In the beginning, I thought we had it.”
This year, as the Red Raiders accepted their second-place trophy, instead of smiles and cheers like last year, there were frowns and tears.
It was the complete opposite for the girls from Pac-Five.
“I’m excited,” Hagihara said. “After the hits in the sixth inning, I was relieved. We knew we could win this. We played against Division I teams so we knew we could win here.”
Hagihara finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Yoshizu was 2-for-2 with an RBI and Shannon Lee was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
For Kaua‘i, Balilea was 2-for-4, Ijima was 2-for-3 and Jessica Iwata was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Kapa‘a 3, Lana‘i 2
Kapa‘a High School’s girls softball team defeated Lana‘i High School in the early morning game to finished third.
Leilani Larani put the Warriors on the board in the second inning. Laranio was walked to get on base and was advanced by a bunt single by Pristian Fejeder. Leihua McCabe was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. A wild pitch scored Laranio.
Lana‘i tied the game with an unearned run by Jamie Ayudan.
Lana‘i went up 2-1 when Morgan Divina scored off a double from Kaila Daniels.
Kapa‘a, though, won the game at the bottom of the sixth. Jocelyn Enrique doubled to left center and Leeana Baltazar reached on an error by the second baseman. Enrique then scored off a sac bunt from Lokelani Manaku.
Laranio drove in the winning run in Baltazar when she singled to second base.
“It kind of feels like we made history for Kapa‘a,” said Laranio. “Kapa‘a has never really got this far before. It feels really good. It feels like it’s not really real.”
Laranio finished 1-for-2 with an RBI, Enrique finished 1-for-3 with a run scored and Fejeder was 1-for-2.
Kapa‘a’s Hanalei Gomes was the winning pitcher, going six innings, allowing only three hits and striking out three.
Both teams return to Kaua‘i today.