KAPAA — The Kauai Senior Softball League brought the action to the East side this past weekend with five games at the Wailua Houselots Park and a triple-header at the Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex. The Kawaihau team prepared the Wailua Park and hosted the long day of softball. The Keonimana Gents welcomed the three-game set at the softball stadium in Kapaa.
The Keonimana Gents opened the day with a sunrise game against Kuku’s Aces. Sia Salausa has the defending league champions rolling through the competition and dispatched Francis DeCosta’s Ace in short order. The Ace’s enjoyed a brief mid-game rally, but they could not match the offensive fireworks from the Gents. The Gents improved their league leading record to 11-0 on a 17-1 rout.
Hana Hou took on the Ohana Motors Rebels in the mid-morning match. Neal Zaslow got the first-year Hana Hou up for one of their biggest challenges of the season. The Rebels opened with an early 7-1 lead after three innings. Then, Hana Hou turned the tide, riding Al Aranio’s three hits and three RBI’s including a home run to rally from nine runs down the stretch to knock off the Rebels, 10-9.
Da Kruzers faced Tom Christy’s Solid Steel squad wrapping the morning games. Duane Girard has Da Kruzers scoring runs but struggling for wins. They started fast with aggressive base running and timely hitting and rang nine runs on the scoreboard. Solid Steel kept chipping away and rolled to a runaway win, 22-9.
The fireworks went off early at the garden softball field at the Wailua Houselots Park. Kawaihau opened up with the East Kauai Legends, pitting two very familiar teams against each other in a serious challenge. The game lived up to the hype with both teams ripping the pitching for 36 runs in what ended up being a two-run decision. Henry Hee engineered the Kawaihau hitting attack for 17 runs and a shot at winning. East Kauai came through and showed why they are the Legends, responding with 19 scores and a thrilling 19-17 win.
Barteks had their hands full with the Aloha Kia Lihue A’s in the second game and league standings on the line. Pat Baniaga has Barteks playing some of their best ball nearing the middle of the season. The A’s are poised at the top of the league guided by Dwight Fujii. Baniaga’s bunch came out with 10 runs only to be cut down by the Lihue A’s in a 14-10 decision. The A’s win moved them into second place in the league standings.
Ohana and the Rookies made the long haul to Wailua from their west side homes to face off. Alan Horikawa has the red-hot Rookies looking for a slot at the top of the league. Ohana has been keeping pace and Frank Bukoski has his squad right behind. This game turned into another run-scoring showcase with both teams using the long ball and crafty base running. Ohana stunned the Rookies, pasting them for a 14-10 victory.
In the fourth game of the day, Joe Bertucci put together a solid lineup for the Islanders taking on the Hanamaulu Hillsiders. Pete Rayno’s Hanamaulu team drove in a dozen runs on an impressive day at the plate. The Islanders were all business and banged their way to prevail in a 20-12 triumph.
The Aloha Kia Lihue A’s stayed around for a doubleheader to close out the day against the Islanders. The A’s were keen on moving up in the standings and rolled up a 12-run lead. The Islanders, fresh off their win over the Hillsiders, were still scoring and came across with 11 runs. The A’s had the answer with plenty to spare in running up a 23-11 knockout.
The Keonimana Gents now have a two-game lead on the league with their 11-0 record. The Aloha Kia Lihue A’s and the Ohana Motors Rebels are tied for second with 9-2 records. Ohana is a half-game back standing at 8-2. The Rookies and Solid Steel have three losses after 11 games and stand in fifth and sixth place respectively. Barteks and Hana Hou are tied for seventh place with 6-4 records. The East Kauai Legends, Kawaihau and Islanders are bunched up next followed by Da Kruzers, Kuku’s Aces, Hanamaulu Hillsiders and West Kauai.
The games will get more exciting as the league bunches up at the top. This weekend Senior Softball moves to town with games at the Peter Rayno Softball Park in Hanamaulu and Isenberg Park in Lihue. The Aloha Kia Lihue A’s will host the games at Isenberg, and the Islanders will be congenial hosts of the slate of games in Hanamaulu.
Four games are on tap in Hanamaulu with the Islanders leading off by taking on Ohana. Da Kruzers will be in town to face the hometown Hillsiders. The third game pits Kuku’s Aces up against the East Kauai Legends. The last of the four games has Hana Hou going up against Kawaihau.
The Isenberg games open with a corker as the Aloha Kia Lihue A’s and the Ohana Motors Rebels square off in a duel of the dealers for second place. The Keonimana Gents will meet up with West Kauai in the mid morning match. The triple-header wraps up with Barteks trying to knock off Solid Steel.