Waimea High School’s varsity softball team advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2019 DataHouse Softball Championships-Division II state tournament.
Waimea — the Kauai Interscholastic Federation runner-up and an unseeded tournament entry — defeated Nanakuli High School of the Oahu Interscholastic Association in the opening round Wednesday, 7-5, at the Patsy T. Mink Field in Kahului, Maui.
“Well, we got to keep on swinging the bat and put it in play,” said Waimea head coach Teddy Perreira in a phone interview Wednesday. “The other team, they were making mistakes, too. We capitalized on the mistakes. That’s how we got back in the game.”
Waimea plays against No. 1 seed Kamehameha Schools-Hawaii of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation in the quarterfinals 7 p.m. today.
“We just got to execute and hit the ball,” Perreira said of taking on the top-seed. “Simple as that — do what we got to do, and we can beat them. We faced them in the preseason, so the girls know what they’re going up against.”
Facing a 4-1 deficit going into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Menehune scored six runs to take a 7-4 lead. Menehune left fielder Taira Abreu led off the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run to right field.
Also in the sixth, shortstop Jenessa Freitas drove in a run on a walk with the bases loaded, and second baseman Maegan Soares hit an RBI single to right field. Waimea also plated three runs in the inning — two on wild pitches, and one on a passed ball.
Now with a 7-4 lead going into the top of the seventh, Waimea allowed one more run to Nanakuli but was able to keep its lead to advance to the next round. On the final out, Nanakuli pitcher Keonaona Deboma was called out at third base on an unassisted play. Nanakuli catcher Alexis Kaeo hit an RBI single to center field in the last inning.
“We made a couple of errors in the top of the seventh, but the girls did OK,” Perreira said. “We just got to get the bats going again.”
Nanakuli scored four runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 4-1 lead. Golden Hawks pinch hitter Jaysha Abang knocked a two-RBI single to left field, shortstop Lexus Kotrys hit an RBI single to left field, and first baseman Makena Laa-Robles hit a sacrifice fly to center field for an RBI.
Waimea took an early 1-0 lead on an RBI double by third baseman Kiana Kaiwi in the bottom of the second inning.
Waimea got seven runs on six hits, left eight runners on base and recorded one error. Kaiwi was 1 for 1 hitting with an RBI double, two walks and scored one run. Freitas was 1 for 2 with a triple, two walks and scored one run.
Menehune relief pitcher Nikayla Oyamot-Taniguchi got the win in Wednesday’s opening-round game. She threw 2 2/3 innings, allowed one run on two hits and had two walks. Starting pitcher Shandalyn Kuhlmann went 4 1/3 innings, allowed four runs on seven hits and had one walk.
Nanakuli got five runs on nine hits, left seven runners on base and recorded two errors. Golden Hawks second baseman Kalimalani Cabico was 2 for 4 and scored one run.
Deboma took the loss for Nanakuli. She threw all six innings and got six strikeouts and eight walks.
Also scheduled for today, KIF winner and tournament No. 3 seed Kapaa High School will make its debut at states. The Warriors will play the winner of the first-round game between Kohala High School (BIIF) and Waipahu High School (OIA). Result of that game was not available by press time.
Wednesday’s Division II results
Game 1: Waimea (KIF) 7, Nanakuli (OIA) 5
Game 2: Honokaa (BIIF) 11, McKinley (OIA) 3
Game 3: Kohala (BIIF) vs. Waipahu (OIA), not available by press time
Game 4: Molokai (MIL) vs. Radford (OIA), not available by press time
Info from Hawaii High School Athletic Association.
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.