KAPAA — A Warrior hiccup in the sixth inning saw Waimea capitalize with three runs on two hits and a Kapaa error for a 4-2 lead Wednesday at the Kapaa High School softball facility.
The Menehune went on to add a run in the seventh to take a 5-2 win to open the second round of Kauai Interscholastic Federation’s softball season.
“Leipua (Kaui)’s pitching was good, today,” said Waimea coach Teddy Perreira. “Both of the pitchers threw well. (Kiani Kamakele) ‘Ani’ is spot on, and the only time she throws bad pitches is when they get her timing. But she’s throwing well.”
Kaui went the distance in the loss, allowing five runs on just six hits to Waimea, all coming in the final three innings. She also struck out three hitters, walked two, and hit one batter.
“I worked on pitching during the time off,” Kaui said. “I think we both did good on the mound, and the one with less errors was going to win. I don’t think I made any mistakes, but if I did, they were small ones which can be fixed.”
Kamakele, the Waimea starting pitcher, went the distance in the win, allowing the two Kapaa runs on four hits while striking out five, walking two, and hitting three batters with pitches.
She also made her mark in the batter’s box, finishing with two singles along with Saecha Padasdao-Oyamot. Karlyee Rye Malapit doubled and Brandy Domingo singled.
Kaui, like Kamakele, topped the Warrior hitting with a double along with Shaniece Banasihan. Jordan Lopez and Kelsie Gorospe-Keliipuleole both singled.
“What killed us today was the (runners) left on bases,” said Scott Kaui of the Kapaa coaching staff. “We left seven out there, including three in the third inning.”
Kapaa made their mark in the third inning, pushing two runs on two hits when Aliyah Cummings walked and scored on Kaui’s RBI double to right field. With two away, Kaui came home on a Jordan Lopez RBI single for the 2-0 lead that stood until the fifth inning.
Waimea’s Malapit opened the fifth with a double and courtesy runner Hiilei Lazaro-Chandler crossed on an RBI single by pinch hitter Domingo.
Waimea added three more runs in the sixth and a run in the seventh for the win.
“What really hurt us was we had just 10 players today,” Scott Kaui said. “We’re missing several of our key players and we had players who had to step up and take positions they never played before.”
Aulani Kaui, Kapaa head coach, said the team has always been in the chase, coming close, but not close enough.
“I’m happy with how the girls played,” Aulani said. “But to come so close, I guess the speed bumps are a little too high. We’ll just keep nibbling away.”
Waimea next hosts Kauai High School on Saturday with a doubleheader at the Waimea Canyon Park starting at 10 a.m.
“We still have to work hard,” Perreira said. “The girls need to hit better, and just continue to play Waimea ball.”