Red Raiders lock up KIF title

LIHUE — Kauai High School softball clinched the Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship with 10-6 and 15-5 victories over Waimea High School Saturday under windy and blustery conditions at Isenberg Park.

“OK girls, let’s make this exciting,” said Kauai assistant coach Penny Vess as the girls headed out onto the field in the second inning.

Waimea stirred the pot, scoring a run on three hits in the opening frame as Malisha Kali-Bagaoisan singled and scored on an Alyssa Miyamoto RBI single with just one away.

Kauai couldn’t bring home the ducks, leaving three runners stranded after Caley Caires walked, Aleigha “Red” Scovel and Kahela Nishikawa-Chandler getting hit by pitches.

Overall, Waimea outhit Kauai 10-7 in Game 1, but Kauai outscored Waimea, 10-6.

Starlynn Ripley singled to open Waimea’s second inning, but was left sitting at first as the next three batters flied out in order. The excitement Vess spoke of came to life as Kauai scored four runs on just two hits, led by Caires pushing two runs home on an RBI single with just one out. Tammie Yoshimori marked an RBI on a sacrifice fly to centerfield and Nishikawa-Chandler marked an RBI on a Waimea error for the 4-1 bulge.

Waimea was not done, answering the deficit in the third frame with three runs on three hits, including a three-RBI triple by Ripley who ran into the catcher’s tag trying to stretch an extra base off the three-bagger with two away. Saecha Ann Padasdao-Oyamot, Miyamoto and Caysha Goias-Soares all crossed the bag to knot the game, 4-4.

Waimea broke the tie in the fourth, adding another pair of runs on two hits.

Shanie Quereto took the batter’s box for a three-run in-the-park home run with two away to lead Kauai to an 8-6 bulge before the Raiders added another two runs on two hits in the sixth inning to cap the 10-6 opener.

Following Quereto’s 3-run homer, Caires marked four RBI on a pair of singles. Kyra Hirokane whacked into a triple and scored on Caires’ RBI single in the sixth. Tia Takasaki scored once and was limited to just a single in the fifth.

Scovel was a victim of Waimea’s Shelbee Tavares, getting hit by a pitch three times in her four at-bats. Yoshimori, in addition to her RBI was also hit by a pitch as was Nishikawa-Chandler, and Kauai pitcher Kailee Nii who was hit by a pitch twice in her four at-bats, finding an RBI single in the fourth inning.

Taira Abreu scored once, was limited to a single, but marked three stolen bases after walking three times. Her fourth take of second base came in the fourth inning when she advanced to the base on a passed ball.

Ripley had the hot bat for Waimea, marking three RBI on her three-bagger. She also singled in the second inning. Kiani-Lee Motooka had a pair of singles along with Kali-Bagaoisan, Miyamoto and Padasdao-Oyamot. Hi‘ilei Lazaro-Chandler singled to round out the Waimea bats in Game 1.

Vess said the second game clinched the title for Kauai on a five-inning game, the match being shortened by the 10-run ruling.

With the title secure, Kauai next travels to the Waimea Canyon Park Wednesday to face Waimea for a final time with the first pitch going off at 5:30 p.m.

Kauai High School will represent the KIF at the Datahouse Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division II softball championships which will take place May 11-14 at the Patsy Mink softball stadium on Maui.

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