‘Ohana of Kaua‘i, coached by Eddie Dela Cruz, came from behind in the bottom of the seventh inning to clinch one of two state division titles during the 36th Annual Hawai‘i State Senior Softball Tournament in Kailua-Kona, Aug. 2-4.
The tournament played through six divisions, A through F, with 52 teams from Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Maui and the Big Island gathering in Kona for the tournament.
The Hanama‘ulu Hillsiders, with Peter Rayno at the helm, finished with the D division title, entering the championship game with a 3-1 record to play the previously undefeated Firehouse team from O‘ahu, which came in with a 4-0 record.
The Hillsiders, earning its nickname ‘The Cardiac Kids,’ finished with a 14-9 win over Firehouse to claim the state championship.
Ohana of Kaua‘i left Kona unscathed after getting past Hui ‘Ohana Makules of O‘ahu in the C division championship.
‘Ohana of Kaua‘i trailed 9-6 with two outs entering the bottom of the seventh inning of the championship matchup.
The O‘ahu team took a gamble, walking Cleve Shigematsu to lead the bases and face Guy Ruiz, who in that game entered the box 0-for-3.
Ruiz came through with a grand slam to push ‘Ohana to the championship with a 10-9 win over O‘ahu.
The Lihu‘e A’s, with Dwight Fujii as coach, finished the A division in fifth place.
East Kaua‘i, coached by Pake Domdoma, finished the B Division in eighth place.
Kawaihau, coached by Ernest Koerte and Stephen Fujii, also ended in eighth place in the C Division.
Maxie Moreno coached the West Kaua‘i team to a third-place finish in the E division. The Rookies, coached by Pat Baniaga, finished fourth in that division.
Cucu DeCosta pushed Kuku’s Aces to a fourth finish in the F division.
The 37th Hawai‘i State Senior Softball Tournament will be hosted by Kaua‘i Aug. 7-9, 2012, at the Hanapepe Sports Complex.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.