The brackets have been released, and the two representatives from the Kauai Interscholastic Federation know what lies ahead of them.
The 2019 DataHouse Softball State Championships-Division II state tournament begins Wednesday at the Patsy T. Mink Field on Maui. The seedings and brackets were released last week.
KIF champion Kapaa High School (11-2 KIF) is seeded No. 3 and has a first-round bye.
“We were really happy because that’s exactly where we felt that we could have the best opportunity to advance,” said Kapaa varsity softball head coach Francis Takasaki on Saturday. “We knew that Kamehameha-Big Island was 12-0. We knew they would be seeded No. 1. And Saint Francis, an unseeded champion, we knew that coming out of the ILH, they’re supposed to be actually playing Wednesday first day as the unseeded championship usually to No. 4 in the tournament format. We wanted to avoid being No. 1 or No. 4 at all cost. Like I said, those two are formidable competitors. We got really a good place being on the opposite bracket from those two teams.”
The Warriors await the winner between Kohala High School (Big Island Interscholastic Federation) and Waipahu High School (Oahu Interscholastic Association). Kapaa’s quarterfinals game is scheduled for 12 p.m. Thursday.
“Again, it’s really rough. We don’t get to see any of those teams or have any stats or intel on them,” Takasaki said. “We’re going to just get down there a little early, and I have to scout that game out. All we can do is take it from there and make our necessary adjustments that we need to.”
KIF runner-up Waimea High School (7-6 KIF) is unseeded and will play against Nanakuli High School (OIA) in the opening round Wednesday at 12 p.m.
Waimea varsity softball head coach Teddy Perreira couldn’t be reached for comment Saturday.
In last year’s Division II tournament, Kapaa and Waimea played each other in the fifth-place game. Waimea defeated Kapaa, 10-9, at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium in Honolulu.
Kapaa was 1-2 at last year’s tournament. Then the No. 1 seed, the Warriors lost to McKinley High School (OIA) in the quarterfinals and defeated Molokai High School (Maui Interscholastic League) in a consolation game, eventually then losing to Waimea in the fifth-place game.
Waimea was 3-1 last year. Before winning the fifth-place matchup, the Menehune defeated Waialua High School (OIA) in the opening round, lost to No. 3 seed Kalani High School (OIA) in the quarterfinals and beat Honokaa High School (BIIF) in a consolation game.
Kapaa defeated Waimea, 23-13, in a playoff game Tuesday at Waimea Canyon Park to clinch the school’s third consecutive KIF championship.
Game 1: Waimea (KIF) vs. Nanakuli (OIA), 12 p.m.
Game 2: Honokaa (BIIF) vs. McKinley (OIA), 2:15 p.m.
Game 3: Kohala (BIIF) vs. Waipahu (OIA), 4:30 p.m.
Game 4: Molokai (MIL) vs. Radford (OIA), 7 p.m.
Game 5: consolation, Game 2 loser vs. Game 3 loser, 10 a.m.
Game 6: No. 3 Kapaa (KIF) vs. Game 3 winner, 12 p.m.
Game 7: No. 2 Waialua (OIA) vs. Game 2 winner, 2:15 p.m.
Game 8: Saint Francis (ILH) vs. Game 4 winner, 4:30 p.m.
Game 9: No. 1 KS-Hawaii (BIIF) vs. Game 1 winner, 7 p.m.
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.