Seniors take the field Tuesday

Helen Lacono, also known as the Soup Lady Hanapepe Cafe, will be busy starting next Tuesday at the senior softball tournament.

“We’ll be cooking from Tuesday through Thursday,” Lacono said. “We’ll be having ‘Cowboy Chili’ for sure on Tuesday. This is to help the Lihue A’s at the senior softball tournament.”

More than 1,000 senior softball players and their families representing 64 teams from throughout the state will converge on the Westside for the Hawaii State Senior Softball Tournament that runs Aug. 2 to 4. Games will be at the Hanapepe Stadium, Eleele, and Kaumakani ball parks.

“They’re hosting a team, so we have to help,” said Pauline Ibia, one of the Walmart greeters as she assisted Angel Madrid and Ernie Domingo of the Hanamaulu Hillsiders with cases of bottled water.

The tournament starts with opening ceremonies at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. The first games get underway at 9:15 a.m.

Kauai’s top team, the East Kauai Gents (22-0) was undefeated during this season and will play against the top-seeded teams from Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii island. Sia Salausa is the coach for the team made up of early 60-year-old players known for their powerful hitting offense and flawless defense, said Jeffrey Kimoto, the incoming senior softball league coordinator.

Pat Baniaga, tournament chairman, will be at the tournament hub as his final time as tournament director.

“It is time for some new blood and ideas to allow growth and more success for the Kauai Senior Softball program,” Baniaga said in his resignation letter.

Baniaga has served as the Kauai Senior Citizen Softball league as its league coordinator for the past 14 years.

Kimoto, who moved here from Northern California, will succeed Baniaga.

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