Red Raiders win 1st round

KAPAA — Kauai High School’s varsity softball team swept Kapaa in Saturday’s doubleheader to win the season’s first round.

“It’s a big relief, but we still got a long way to go. And we know that,” said Kauai High coach Elena Kealoha. “Still, a lot of work to do.”

Kauai (5-0 KIF) scored 10 runs in the opening inning en route to winning Saturday’s first game, 21-6. The game ended in after the tenth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.

In that inning, Red Raiders senior starting pitcher Kailee Nii hit a single to left field to bring in one run. An error then allowed Kauai to score two more runs.

“It’s just confidence in yourself, and your teammates picking you up,” said Red Raiders freshman outfielder Taira Abreu about the 10 runs in the first inning. “For the team, we got to push through and not let it get in our heads that we won. And just work hard.”

Kapaa (0-4) scored three runs in the bottom of the first to cut into the deficit.

Warriors freshman infielder Shailee Telles-Kelekoma scored the team’s first run off a wild pitch. Freshman infielder Tiani Kaui hit an RBI single to right field to bring home sophomore starting pitcher Leipua Kaui from third, and sophomore catcher Sabrina Telles-Kelekoma scored a run off an error.

Kauai got its 21 runs off 16 hits, left five runners on base and had three errors in the first game. Kapaa got its six runs off six hits, left six runners on and had seven errors.

“The first inning, just too many errors,” said Kapaa coach Scott Kaui. “It was popups that we give them runs on. You cannot do that. It’s just one of those things. But we’re getting better. At least we got some runs on the board this time. We just got to get more.”

Kauai then won the second game of Saturday’s twin bill, 13-1, to clinch the first round. That game, too, ended after the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.

The Red Raiders scored four runs in the second inning and five in the third en route to getting its fifth win in a row. In the third inning, senior outfielder Caley Caires singled to center field for two RBIs.

“The girls are pretty tight-knit this year. They’ve been working really hard,” Kealoha said about the five-game streak. “They know what they need to do. They’re all good.”

Kapaa got its lone run in the second inning when freshman outfielder Taelyn Nunes scored off an error.

“Obviously, they had more hits and made less errors than us,” coach Kaui said. “We got to bounce back. We got to hit more and (commit) less errors. That’s pretty much it.”

Kauai High will host Waimea (1-2 KIF) at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Isenberg Park in Lihue. Kapaa will play Waimea for a doubleheader on Saturday at Waimea Canyon Park. The first game will begin at 10 a.m.

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