Waimea catcher Taylor “Kawehi” Ephan conked in a solo home run in the home half of the seventh inning of Game 2 to pull the Menehune into a 12-11 win over Kaua‘i High School Saturday at Waimea Canyon Park.
The solo homer, which sailed over the left-centerfield fence, ended the contest with just one out and preserved a Waimea sweep following a 17-8 win in the opener. Ephan’s performance eclipsed her showing last week against Kapa‘a when she posted four home runs over two games.
Against the Red Raiders in her home field, Ephan also punched four home runs, two in the first game and two in the second game, including the game-winner.
The catcher punched a three-run affair in the second inning of Game 2 before the winning bang in the seventh. In the opener, Ephan smacked a solo shot in the second inning and followed that with a two-run bomb to right-center field in the fourth frame.
She also marked an RBI double in the fifth inning of Game 1 and a single in the first inning of Game 2, finishing by scoring three times in Game 2, the first on a wild pitch, and marking four RBIs in Game 2. She ended Game 1 by scoring twice and marking five RBIs.
Krysta Kali posted two home runs in Game 1, scoring four times and added two singles with six RBI, following the showing with two singles in Game 2, scoring once and marking two RBIs.
Waimea jumped out to a 2-1 edge following the first inning of Game 2 and after adding four runs on four hits in the second frame, saw the game knot at 6-6 when Kaua‘i mustered five runs on just three hits, Aniase Soltren leading the charge with a two-RBI double with two outs.
The Menehune went up 8-7 in the fourth, pushing two runs across on two hits after Kaua‘i scored one run on one hit, an RBI single by Daeja Cummings who pushed Kirra Jaquias, walking first, home.
Waimea answered when Sienna Santiago singled to open, eventually scoring and Gaylan “Ulu” Matagiese, walking first, getting the second score on an RBI single from Jacelynn San Agustin with two away.
Kaua‘i knotted the game in the sixth inning with two runs on two hits, including a bunt from Jaquias who opened the inning and scored on a squeeze play by Cummings, the first base person scoring on an RBI single by Khaya Bunao down the left field line.
But Waimea pushed ahead in the home half, driving Matagiese, singling first and stealing second and third bases, home for the 10-9 lead.
Kaua‘i opened the two-run seventh when Janessa Maghanoy got first on a Waimea error and scored on a Kyana Hirokane fielder’s choice, Angel Camarillo, pinch running for the infielder, scoring on an RBI-single from Bunao for the 11-10 lead.
Waimea opened its home half when Santiago walked and scored on a Kali RBI-single followed by Ephan’s game-winning homer.
Waimea celebrated its win in Game 2 on 13 hits, including Ephan’s two homers and a single followed by Matagiese marking three singles and Kali’s two singles.
Kaua‘i scored its 11 runs on 10 hits, led by Soltren’s two-RBI double, Bunao marking two RBIs on two singles, and Moana Waipa marking an RBI on two singles.
Fueled by a three-run homer by Kali in the sixth inning, Waimea wrapped up a 17-8 opener behind 12 hits led by Ephan’s two homers, two singles and five RBIs and Kali adding two homers, a pair of singles with six RBIs.
Matagiese singled with an RBI and Deannalynn Tafiti, picking up the two wins, singled.
Kaua‘i picked up its eight runs on nine hits including a two-run home run by Hirokane in the sixth inning of Game 1.
Hirokane also finished with two singles and three RBIs followed by Cummings singling and marking an RBI, and Jaquias singling.
KIF softball enters its final week when Waimea visits Kapa‘a in a single match Wednesday at the new Kapa‘a High School field, the first pitch going at 3:30 p.m.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.