Warrior wahine fall short to Na Alii

Kapaa High School’s varsity softball team lost in the semifinals of the DataHouse Softball State Championships — Division II state tournament.

The No. 3 seeded Warrior wahine lost to No. 2 Aiea of the Oahu Interscholastic Association, 10-4, Friday at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium in Honolulu.

Kapaa head coach Francis Takasaki said Aiea’s pitcher, senior Pomai Tuli, was exceptional in the game. In the winning effort, Tuli threw a complete game and totaled six strikeouts, two walks and a wild pitch in seven innings.

“It was a really good experience for a lot of the girls who never did see this kind of velocity thrown at them,” Takasaki said Friday in a phone interview. “Tuli, the pitcher, she has a really good screwball, and the curve dropped with velocity, and a really great changeup that she utilized.

“It was just a situation where we needed some timely hits that didn’t quite come through,” he continued. “Again, we have a lot of players that never did see that kind of velocity. Tuli, she’s a senior and she’s always been a great pitcher. … We did have spurts and rallies here, but it fell short.”

Kapaa (12-2) got an early lead with two runs in the bottom of the second inning. Warriors sophomore infielder Jumba Kupihea and freshman courtesy runner Talia Washington each scored on errors.

Aiea (14-0) answered immediately with five runs in the top of the third inning with a couple of home runs.

Na Alii senior catcher Testimoni Tavale hit a three-run shot to left field, and sophomore outfielder Trinity Atuatasi knocked a two-run homer to left.

Aiea scored five more in the fourth. Na Alii sophomore infielder Mikelle Gonsalves hit a two-RBI single to left. Later in the inning, Gonsalves stole home plate for another run.

Sophomore infielder Jaenah Padasdao reached on a fielder’s choice to score the runner from third, and senior outfielder Tiana Ono hit an RBI single to left.

Kapaa cut into the deficit with two runs in the fourth. Warriors senior starting pitcher Kailey Rivera, who moved to infielder after being relieved in the third inning, hit an RBI double to left field. Junior infielder Tia Takasaki then hit another RBI double to left field to score Rivera from second.

In the bottom of the seventh, both Rivera and Takasaki popped up in the infield for the first two outs.

Warriors junior infielder Leipua Kaui, who in the third inning relieved Rivera on the mound, hit a two-out triple to right field. In the ensuing at bat, junior catcher Sabrina Telles-Kelekoma popped up for the final out.

Kapaa will play Kamehameha Schools-Hawaii of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation in the third place game at 2:15 p.m. today at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.

KS-Hawaii, which was the tournament’s No. 1 seed, lost to Saint Francis of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu in the semifinals Friday, 9-0.

“That’s an interesting one. We did get a chance to play Kamehameha-Big Island in the Waimea preseason (tournament), and we did come out ahead on that one,” Takasaki said. “So, we’re excited to see them again. Hopefully, this time we get a full game.

“The girls have done a great job up to this point in time, thinking about from where we started from,” he continued. “Like I said, this was our goal — to be able to step foot inside Rainbow Stadium, which for us was something special.”

Kapaa totaled four runs on five hits, left six runners on base and had zero errors. Rivera was 2-4 with a run and an RBI.

Rivera also took the loss. She went 2 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on four hits, struck out one and walked two.

Aiea got 10 runs on 13 hits, left six runners on and committed five errors. Na Alii senior infielder Chantelle Shimabukuro was 3-4 with two runs.

Tavale was 2-3 with the three-run homer, and Atuatasi was 2-4 with the two-run jack in the third inning.

Aiea advanced to the Division II championship game and will play Saint Francis at 4:30 p.m. today at Rainbow Wahine Stadium.

Division II results from Friday are:

– Semifinal: Saint Francis (ILH) 9, No. 1 Kamehameha Schools-Hawaii (BIIF) 0

– Semifinal: No. 2 Aiea (OIA) 10, Kapaa (KIF) 4

– Consolation: Kalani (OIA) 7, Honokaa (BIIF) 0

– Consolation: Molokai (MIL) 5, Waipahu (OIA) 4

– Consolation: Kohala (BIIF) vs. Radford (OIA), result not available by press time.

Information from Hawaii High School Athletic Association and ScoringLive contributed to this story.


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