WAIMEA — Waimea High School’s varsity softball team won the Kauai Interscholastic Federation’s season second round to force a playoff game for the league championship.
Waimea defeated Kapaa High School, 16-12, in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader at Waimea Canyon Park to clinch the second round. Kapaa then won Saturday’s second game, 16-10, to close out the KIF regular season.
Waimea and Kapaa, the regular season’s first-round winner, will play the championship game at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Waimea Canyon Park.
Game 1: Huihui-Caberto blasts two HRs, Waimea wins to clinch
Waimea infielder Kailea Huihui-Caberto hit two home runs, one of which was a grand slam, and totaled eight RBIs to help the Menehune clinch the second round and win Saturday’s first game, 16-12.
Huihui-Caberto’s four-RBI home run came in the bottom of the fifth inning with the bases loaded and only one out. She also hit a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning.
Waimea (7-5 KIF, 5-1 2nd round) scored six runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 7-2 lead. In the inning, Waimea catcher Aliyah Nordmeier-Kanahele hit an RBI triple to left field, and Huihui-Caberto knocked a two-RBI double.
Kapaa (10-2 KIF, 4-2 2nd round) chipped away at Waimea’s lead, scoring four runs in the fifth inning. Warriors outfielder Seijia Makanani hit a two-RBI single to left field in the fifth.
Facing a 16-10 deficit going into the top of the seventh, Kapaa scored two more runs in the last inning but couldn’t close the gap. Infielder Kaylana Maghanoy scored from third on an error, and catcher Savannah Simmons hit an RBI single to center field.
With two outs and runners at second and third base, Warriors outfielder Tiani Kaui grounded to third base to end the contest.
Waimea got 16 runs on 12 hits, left seven runners on base and recorded five errors. Huihui-Caberto was 3 for 3 batting with two home runs and a double for eight RBIs and was walked.
Waimea starting pitcher Nikayla Oyamot-Taniguchi got the win. She pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing nine runs on eight hits and had four walks and two hit-by-pitches.
Kapaa got 10 runs on 14 hits, left nine runners on base and recorded two errors. Makanani was 3 for 4, drove in two RBIs and scored one run.
Warriors starter Shanayah Marshall took the loss. Marshall went 4 1/3 innings and allowed 16 runs on 12 hits and had 11 walks and two hit-by-pitches.
Game 2: Warriors plate 7 in 2nd inning, Rivera has two homers
Kapaa scored seven runs in the second inning en route to beating Waimea in Saturday’s second contest, 16-10.
Kapaa totaled 10 hits in the top of the second, including a three-RBI home run to left field by infielder Shailin Rivera.
Rivera had a second three-run homer in the fifth inning.
Waimea opened the contest by scoring five runs in the top of the first inning. Menehune outfielder Leiko Yamauchi knocked a three-RBI home run to left field, and infielder Kieren Henderson had a two-RBI double to left field in the inning.
The Menehune scored two runs in each the third and fourth innings, and then plated one more in the top of the seventh.
Facing a six-run deficit, with runners at first and third base and no outs, Nordmeier-Kanahele, outfielder Taira Abreu and infielder Jenessa Freitas went down in order to end the game.
Kapaa got 16 runs on 18 hits, left seven runners on base and recorded three errors. Rivera ended 4 for 5 with two home runs, a double, seven RBIs and scored three runs.
Warriors starter Taelyn Dakamas got the win, going all seven innings and got five strikeouts, eight walks and two hit-by-pitches.
Waimea got 10 runs on seven hits, left seven runners on base and recorded three errors. Yamauchi was a double short of hitting for the cycle, going 3 for 3 for a home run, a triple and four RBIs. In her final at bat in the seventh inning, needing a double to complete the cycle, she was walked.
Oyamot-Taniguchi also started Game 2 on Saturday and was tagged for the loss. She, too, pitched a complete game and got two strikeouts and a walk.
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.