LIHUE — Kapaa High School’s softball team pushed nine runs in the first inning en route to taking a 16-4 win over Kauai High School on Wednesday night at a crowded Isenberg Park.
“We still had 10 runs,” said Kapaa coach Francis Takasaki. “The reconstruction continues. We’ve been working to rebuild the mechanics — even down to batting. Part of the process is getting people to buy into the program. The first game we faced Waimea. We both ended with the same number of hits. The difference was in how we manufactured the hits.”
Following the nine runs that came on four hits and a Kauai error, Kapaa scattered seven more hits through the seven innings, including a solo home run over the left-centerfield fence by Leipua Kaui who finished four-for-five in the batter’s box with four RBIs in the win.
“We’re glad the game went seven innings,” said Kapaa assistant coach Cassie Wong. “We wanted Leipua to have some time on the mound, and going the distance gave her that time.”
Kaui took the mound with one out in the fourth in relief of starter Kaylee Rivera, who has been carrying Kapaa through the first round.
Rivera finished with no runs allowed, but giving up three hits including a ground-rule double by Kauai’s Justice Funamura-Sasil, the second batter she faced in the fourth inning.
Kaui settled the defense to take out the Red Raiders in order during the fifth and sixth innings. Despite a single from Kahela Nishikawa-Chandler in the seventh, she left the Raiders stranded to complete the game.
“We were quiet on the bats tonight,” said Kauai coach Ferdinand Marcelino. “Normally, we rely on our hitting. This is new ground we have to deal with. We’re a young team and there is a lot to learn. Hopefully, we learn from our mistakes.”
Funamura-Sasil finished with the top bat for Kauai, scoring once and punching the two-run double, followed by Nishikawa-Chandler scoring once and marking a single.
Kapaa’s Kendra Kupihea scored three times and pushed a pair of singles with four RBIs to join Kaui in leading the Warrior hitting.
Kapaa hosts Waimea on Saturday at the Kapaa High School field with the first pitch going at 9 a.m.
Kauai enjoys a bye until Wednesday when the Red Raiders travel to the Waimea Canyon Park to face the Menehune in a night match starting at 5:30 p.m.