Kapaa High School’s varsity softball advanced to the semifinals of the DataHouse Softball State Championships — Division II state tournament.
The No. 3 seeded Warrior wahine defeated Radford High of the Oahu Interscholastic Federation in the quarterfinals Thursday at McKinley High School in Honolulu, 11-1. Play ended after six innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
“Everybody was really looking forward to playing,” said Kapaa head coach Francis Takasaki in a phone interview Thursday. “Coming in on Wednesday, we had a light practice. It was really good to get back to playing, and fortunately, things worked out for us today.”
With an early 2-0 lead, Kapaa (12-1) scored six runs in the bottom of the second inning on six hits and four Rams errors.
With the bases loaded, Warriors senior starting pitcher Kailey Rivera hit a single to left field. An errant throw by a Rams freshman outfielder Devine Raymundo advanced Rivera to third and plated three runs in the inning.
After scoring another run in the fifth inning, the Warrior wahine plated two more in the sixth.
Warriors junior relief pitcher Leipua Kaui — who started at infielder — hit an RBI double to left field, and senior outfielder Tyra Alao hit an RBI single to center field to extend Kapaa’s lead to 10 runs and end the quarterfinals match.
“For us, we have a turning point in every game usually where it provides us opportunity to go to our small ball. That’s basically what happened with Radford,” Takasaki said. “We were in a situation where it was called for, and our players executed. We really cashed in on that one.”
Radford (9-6) got its lone run in the fourth inning on a solo home run to left field by Rams sophomore infielder Selina Tavarez.
Kapaa got its 11 runs on 11 hits, left five runners on base and had zero errors. Kaui was 3-4 with three runs and an RBI. Takasaki was 1-3 with two runs and an RBI.
Rivera was the winning pitcher. She threw 3 1/3 innings, allowing us one earned run on five hits with one strikeout and one walk.
“We’re running three pitchers. The first sign of trouble with anybody, we’d just go into our next person in the lineup,” Takasaki said. “Fortunately, we didn’t have to go to our third pitcher. But everything is different. We’re expecting a different flavor out of the team that comes out on the opposite side. Our pitchers, they did a great job today.”
Radford got one run on five hits, left five runners on and committed seven errors. Tavares was 1-2 with the solo shot in the fourth inning.
Rams freshman starting pitcher Abigail Wilson took the loss. She went 5 1/3 innings and had one strikeout, four walks, three wild pitches and one hit-by-pitch.
Kapaa’s semifinal game begins 12 p.m. today at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium in Honolulu.
The Warriors will face the winner of the quarterfinals match between No. 2 Aiea of the Oahu Interscholastic Association and Kohala of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation. Result of that game was not available by press time.
“That was our goal — to get to the UH stadium,” Takasaki. “We had very attainable goals. That’s what we set for ourselves, and we’re really happy that we get the girls to step foot in there and have an opportunity to play in that facility. That was our original goal, and we’re really happy we attained that.”
Division II results from Thursday are:
w Quarterfinals: No. 1 Kamehameha Schools-Hawaii (BIIF) 13, vs. Waipahu (OIA) 3, six innings
w Quarterfinals: No. 2 Aiea (OIA) vs. Kohala (BIIF), result not available by press time.
w Quarterfinals: No. 3 Kapaa (KIF) 11, Radford (OIA) 1, six innings
w Quarterfinals: Saint Francis (ILH) 11, No. 4 Molokai (MIL) 1, six innings
w Consolation: Konawaena (BIIF) 8, Lanai (MIL) 3
Information from Hawaii High School Athletic Association and ScoringLive contributed to this story.