Kaua‘i teams battle to stay in medal race

HANAPEPE — Pool B in the A bracket was where the excitement centered yesterday afternoon.

With two games remaining in pool play, East Kaua‘i, the top-seeded team from Kaua‘i, had finished its pool play with a 2-1 record and 16 points in head-to-head point count at the 33rd Annual Hawai‘i State Senior Citizens Softball tournament at Hanapepe Stadium.

Bad Company, the third-seeded O‘ahu team, had just come from an upset over No. 2-seeded Nakoa with a 23-6 win capped by an explosive 12-run seventh inning.

That win ended its pool play with a 1-2 record, but the explosive final frame gave the blackshirts 15 points in head-to-head point count.

Based on that scenario, it would appear that East Kaua‘i was heading for the title match against Hilo Pomaikai (2-1), top-seeded in Pool A, but with two remaining games, East Kaua‘i could be relegated to a fight for third place based on the final scores of the Kona Gold-Nakoa game.

In Bracket B, Kaua‘i’s second-seeded Lihu‘e (2-1) will meet Kohala (2-1) for third place starting at 11:30 a.m.

“But we have to win to be third,” said Dwight Fujii, the Lihu‘e coach.

The title match for Bracket B will feature the Honomu Rockets (3-0) taking on the Waimea Paniolos (3-0) starting at 12:45 p.m.

With one game remaining in Bracket C, the Rookies (1-2), third-seeded from Kaua‘i, await their fate as the Harley Dragons remain to battle Fire House.

“We lost two games by just one run, each,” said Rookies coach Ichi Chiba. “We actually had two men on, but couldn’t close the door against the Harley Dragons.”

Earlier, the Rookies were 14-1 winners over Fire House before dropping 16-15 to the Big Island Iron Birds and 13-12 to the Dragons.

West Kaua‘i, fifth-seeded from Kaua‘i, has a shot for third place in the D Bracket with two games remaining to be played.

With a 2-1 record, West Kaua‘i is tied with the Yankees, but the Yankees are ahead in head-to-head point count with 10.

Kawaihau, seventh-seeded from Kaua‘i, finished its pool play with a 2-1 record, dropping 12-9 to the Maui Aces, rebounding to a 14-6 win over the Pueo and an 18-14 edge over Kapuna Pride. One of the remaining games in its bracket was undefeated Kipu Upu U going up against the Kona Warriors (0-2).

Kuku’s Aces, sixth-seeded from Kaua‘i, is tied with three other teams at 2-1.

There is a three-way logjam for the lead with Hamakua Coast, Hui Na Kolohe and Papaiko holding 3-0 records with six more games remaining in its pool.

Kuku’s Aces open this morning against Matsumoto, 11th-seed from O‘ahu, starting at 9 a.m.

Fifth-place bracket play starts at 10:15 a.m. followed by third place play at 11:30 a.m. The bracket championships start at 12:45 p.m.

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