WAIMEA — Facing a 2-0 deficit in the second inning, Waimea’s girls exploded for five runs in the second inning en route to an 8-5 victory over Kapaa at Waimea Canyon Park on Wednesday.
Waimea’s Kiani Kamakea picked up the win on the mound. Deannalynn Tafiti recorded the save for the defending Kauai Interscholastic Federation champions before a large crowd which ringed the outfield fences and parking lots.
“Kiani ‘Ani’ Kamakea just ran out of gas,” said Waimea coach Teddy Perreira. “Kapaa hit on her mis-pitches. If Ani is spot-on, they can’t hit her. We also need work in our hitting.”
Kamakea allowed seven hits while striking out three. She walked four, and hit two Warriors before Tafiti came in to strike out the final Kapaa batter with the bases loaded and the tying run on first.
“The girls played pretty good,” said Scott Kaui, Kapaa assistant coach. “But without the large numbers, we can’t have the girls scrimmage these types of situations. We only have 11 healthy players tonight. We just have to keep working at it.”
In the third inning Waimea got runners in scoring position with no outs on Warrior miscues.
Kapaa squeezed through the inning, taking out two Menehune runners at the plate on back-to-back fielder’s choice plays before ending the threat on a ground out to second base.
Kapaa jumped out to a 2-0 lead after pushing a run in each the first and second innings before Waimea answered with the 5-run inning in the second.
Tafiti started the big inning when she got hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice off Keana Ratcliff-Hogan’s bunt. Karlyee Rye Malapit and Brandy Domingo got aboard on consecutive hit by pitches before Tafiti scored on a sacrifice fly by Starlynn Ripley.
Tyrelle Unciano walked before Shania Rita pushed Malapit and Domingo home on a single. Alyssa Minamoto singled to push Unciano and Rita home before the inning closed on a fly ball.
Saecha Pasadao-Oyamot topped the Waimea hitting with a triple in the fourth inning. Rita had three singles with Minamoto, Malapit, Domingo and Ripley singling.
Sabrina Telles-Kelekoma led Kapaa with a double and a single and catcher Jordan Lopez had two singles. Kaui and Gorospe-Keliipuleole each singled to round out the Warrior bats.
With the win in the KIF season opener, Waimea next travels to Isenberg Park on Saturday for a doubleheader starting at 10 a.m. against the Kauai Red Raiders.
“The main thing tonight is we got the W,” Perreira said. “It wasn’t pretty. We have to execute, and just do the Waimea thing — stay disciplined.”
Kapaa next hosts Kauai on Wednesday at the Kapaa High School softball field starting at 3:30 p.m.