Waimea XXX reclaims state softball title

The Waimea XXX Softball Team reclaimed the statewide title after finishing as runner-up in the 2014 tourney.

The Family Stones’ High School Alumni Softball Tournament is held annually at the Patsy Mink Central Oahu Regional Park. It is a double-elimination format tournament. This year’s event took place during the week of July 28 in Waipio, Oahu. Fifty-four teams from across the state competed, including alumni slow-pitch softball teams from Kauai High and Kapaa High schools.

Waimea was awarded a bye into the second round — a result of having finished in the top four in last year’s tournament.

Waimea XXX’s first game was on Friday, July 31 versus the alumni team from St. Louis High School. The mercy-rule shortened contest ended after 4 innings with Waimea XXX winning 20-3. Several of the team members turned in solid offensive efforts at the plate, including Ryan Lee, Isaac Castillo, Justin Ganaden, Kelly Batis, Brad Vidinha and Cory Rita, while Pitcher Dwyle Lee’s solid pitching effort held St. Louis to only 3 runs over the four innings.

Coming back to the field on Saturday, Waimea XXX earned a 25-15 victory in four innings. The game featured five home runs — one each from Lee, Castillo, Ashley Vidinha, Kaua Aranio and Quinton Natividad. The game was called after only four innings due to the 1 hour time-limit rule.

The tournament’s final day, Sunday, Aug. 2, saw Waimea XXX begin their run to the title with a late morning contest versus Kamehameha Imua. After four innings, Waimea found themselves down, 10-7. However, the team exploded offensively in the top of the fifth inning and scored 8 runs while batting through the lineup. The inning was highlighted by seven hits, including a home run both from Lee and Castillo. Solid hitting from both teams concluded the contest 21-12 in Waimea’s favor.

Following that game came a victory over Punahou Gold, with Waimea winning a low scoring contest 4-0. At this point Waimea was cruising through the winner’s bracket, winning three contests against no losses.

The first real test for the team came on Sunday afternoon with a game against Mid-Pacific Institute. Waimea was leading 16-14 after six innings, but could not hold on in the top of the seventh inning, and allowed Mid-Pacific to score 5 runs. XXX lost the close contest after seven innings, 19-16. This loss didn’t eliminate the team from the tournament but it meant that the team would be relegated to the loser’s bracket and would have to battle their way back into the championship game.

The semi-final contest pitted Waimea XXX against Punahou Gold. Close early, Waimea earned a 9-3 victory and a spot in the finals.

The championship final featured Waimea XXX and Mid-Pacific, the only remaining undefeated team in the tournament. In order to claim the title, the team from Waimea would need to secure two victories over Mid-Pacific in back-to-back contests. Both contests were close affairs with Waimea winning game one, 8-6.

Overcoming their mental and physical fatigue, the team took another close contest in game two, ending 14-11 late in the evening.

Waimea XXX has now won this tournament in five of the last six years with essentially the same core of players throughout.

A solid offensive effort throughout earned tournament MVP honors for catcher Lee.

For the tourney win, Waimea XXX earned a $1,000 scholarship for Waimea High School Athletics.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.