Swinging away on the Westside

WAIMEA — It’s the sound of spring.

A preseason softball tournament opened in Waimea Thursday where six visiting schools descended on the Garden Island in preparation for the season.

Mid Pacific Institute catcher Marissa Allen whacked a grand slam in the fourth inning to give the Owls an 8-1 win over Kauai High School in then opening day of pool play.

“We knew the girls (Kauai) had potential,” said Kauai coach Elena Kealoha. “We were able to play almost everyone. By the end of the tournament, everyone will have played. The girls had some good plays out there. With a little more molding, they’ll be ready for the Kauai Interscholastic Federation season.”

Kapaa High School opened its pool play on a winning note with a 20-0 victory over the Farrington Governors. Thursday and Friday are pool games and Saturday’s will be seeded games based on pool results.

“The girls surprised me in the game against Farrington, today. We were hitting the ball, and everyone who suited up to play was able to do something for us out there,” said Kapaa coach Aulani Kaui.

Mililani High School of Oahu, the defending Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division I champions, is one of the teams playing in the tournament.

“We’ve been coming to this tournament for a long time,” said Mililani coach Rose Antonio.

“This tournament is really good for a team to become a team,” he added, describing that a great aspect of the tournament is the hospitality provided by the host school and community. “I’ve been coming here for 18 years, and we always stay at the Waimea Neighborhood Center where everyone stays in the same room. This is a way to get to know each other and become like family.”

Kapaa closes pool play today against Mililani starting at 11 a.m. at the Waimea Canyon Park B field.

Other games in the final round of pool play include Kamehameha Schools-Big Island meeting Pac5 at 11 a.m. on the A field.

– At 12:45 p.m. Farrington meets Mid-Pacific on the A field, and Punahou plays Mililani on the B field.

– At 2:30 p.m. Mid-Pacific plays Pac5 on the A field, Kapaa plays Kauai on the B field.

– 4:15 p.m. Waimea plays Kamehameha-BI on the A field, Farrington plays Kauai on the B field, and at 6 p.m., Waimea meets Punahou.

– Saturday’s championship game is scheduled for 4:15 on both A and B fields.

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