In an all-Kauai showdown for fifth place, the Menehune girls walked off in stunning fashion.
Waimea High School’s varsity softball team defeated Kapaa High School, 10-9, in the fifth place game of the 2018 DataHouse Softball State Championships–Division II tournament Friday at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium in Honolulu.
The game ended after three innings because of a time limit.
“I feel good, but this was good for the young ones — the young ones coming back next year,” Waimea head coach Teddy Perreira said in a phone interview Friday. “We had a young team. That was a good boost for them next year.”
He added: “On a field like this, the girls were fired up. It’s not every time we can play on the University of Hawaii field. We had the opportunity, and the girls were excited just to get on the field and play.”
Facing a 9-1 deficit, Waimea (12-5, 3-1 HHSAA) plated nine runs in the bottom of the third inning on one hit and three Kapaa errors.
“I don’t know how I can explain it. I guess the girls wanted it,” Perreira said. “The girls wanted it more than Kapaa, I guess.”
The Menehune clinched when outfielder Makeyah Wisneski reached first on an error and shortstop Jenessa Freitas and pinch runner Jana Luis scored on the play.
Waimea’s only hit in third was an RBI double to center field by outfielder Taira Abreu.
“When they put (Leipua Kaui) on the mound, we were hitting Kaui all season. They put her on the mound. I guess that was the momentum when we saw Kaui come up,” Perreira said. “I guess the girls were ready for that.”
With a 6-1 lead going into the top of the third, Kapaa (11-5, 1-2 HHSAA) plated three more runs to pad its lead. Warriors outfielder Shanayah Marshall hit a two-RBI double to right field in that inning.
Waimea totaled 10 runs on two hits and recorded two errors. Abreu tallied both of those hits, going 2-3, driving in one RBI and scoring one run.
Menehune starting pitcher Shandalyn Kuhlmann was the winning pitcher. In three innings, she allowed nine runs — five earned — on five hits and had one strikeout and four walks.
Kapaa totaled nine runs on five hits and recorded four errors. Marshall was 2-2 and drove in three RBIs. Starting pitcher Tia Takasaki was 2-2, drove in two RBIs and scored three runs.
Kaui, who started at shortstop and pitched in relief, took the loss. In 2/3 of an inning, she allowed eight runs — just one was an earned run — on one hit and had four walks.
Takasaki, in two-plus innings for Kapaa, allowed two runs on one hit and had three strikeouts and three walks.
Waimea ends its season with a 12-5 overall record. The Menehune were 9-4 in the regular season as the team went on to be the league runner-up, and were 3-1 at the Division II state tournament.
“We had a good tournament,” Perreira said. “The girls were struggling in the early part of the game, and they came back strong in the end of the game.”
Kapaa ended its season with an 11-5 overall record. The Warriors were 10-3 in the regular season en route to winning its second consecutive Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship, and were 1-2 at the state tournament after receiving the No. 1 seed.
Kapaa head coach Francis Takasaki couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.
Information from Hawaii High School Athletic Association.
Division II results
Consolation: Kohala (BIIF) 11, Waialua (OIA) 4
Fifth place: Waimea (KIF) 10, Kapaa (KIF) 9
Third place: No. 3 Kalani (OIA) 5, Konawaena (BIIF) 4
Championship: Saint Francis (ILH) 10, No. 2 Kamehameha Schools-Hawaii (BIIF) 0
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or email@example.com.