LIHUE — The Kauai Senior Softball League found young legs on old bodies with big bats as a near-record 208 runs were scored in the eight games at the Peter Rayno Softball Park and the Isenberg Softball Stadium. Nine teams scored in double figures including a 14-13 nail biter. Kawaihau takes top honors, crossing the plate 31 times in their game. It was not all smooth sailing for all of the teams with both ball parks reporting serious injuries to several senior ball players.
The Islanders took hosting honors in Hanamaulu, playing a doubleheader. The breakfast match found Joe Bertucci’s Islanders up against the Hana Hou. Neal Zaslow has Hana Hou on the rebound after a tough loss to the Gents. They are also one of the teams taking a serious injury. They went to work with a solid hitting game, banging in nine runs. The Islanders finally had a few things turn their way and used the home field to put together some big innings. The Islanders started out with a 17-9 victory.
Kuku’s Aces made the cross-island trip to take on Kawaihau in the second game. The Aces have been showing some scoring power lately and continued to hit the ball well. Henry Hee put some extra chili pepper water in the Kawaihau cooler before they hit. Kawaihau used every inch of the diamond, registering a team record-number of base hits. The Ace’s came out swinging and put up a respectable nine runs. Everything Kawaihau hit was a gem as they raced around the bases for a 31-9 rout.
Da Kruzers went up against the East Kauai Legends at the mid-morning feature. The Legends were coming off a bye week and were looking forward to getting back into game action. Da Kruzers are putting their game together and trying form a second-half win streak. East Kauai got seven on the scoreboard but could not hold off Da Kruzers hitters. Duane Girard got his Kruzers to work the field, posting 15 runs to knock off the Legends in a 15-7 decision.
The Islanders had to repair the park at the end of the day, so they stayed around to close the quadruple-header with the back half of a doubleheader with the East Kauai Legends in a makeup game from a previous rain out. The Islanders had not cooled off from their first game and had no problem at the plate knocking around hits and runs. The Legends had a hard time re-starting the offense and rallied for four runs, but the Islanders turned in some big five-run innings to blast their way to a 20-4 victory.
In Lihue, the Aloha Kia Lihue A’s put the expansive Isenberg Softball Stadium into the senior configuration and opened the four-game day with an encounter with the Rookies. The two clubs squared off tied for third place in the league, holding 13-4 records. The Rookies brought the long ball with them for a competitive run scoring start to the game. The A’s answered with sharp place, hitting for a five-run inning. Both teams were able to score at will in an even match. The Rookies kept launching deep drives in the huge outfield and stretched a lead that Lihue was unable to answer. The Westside team used their big innings to run away with a 16-7 win.
Ohana made the most of the home team assignment in a tight game with Solid Steel. Tom Christy has the first-year Steel in the thick of the league race just off of the leaders. Ohana came in trying to reverse a short tail spin. Solid Steel caught Ohana off guard with a few deep drives in the gap and took off with the lead. Ohana came right back with rallies of their own to take the mid-game lead. The Steel went back to work to pound out 13 runs and take a lead headed into the bottom of the seventh. Frank Bukoski kept Ohana focused going into their final at-bats. Hit by hit, Ohana pulled close and then used a clutch base hit to tie the game at 13-13. With the game-winning run at third base, Solid Steel could not come up with the outs, and a ground ball through the infield gave Ohana a come from behind walk-off 14-13 win.
West Kauai had the Ohana Motors Rebels on the card in the third game. Gary Yates got his Rebels to open the game with back-to-back five-run innings taking an early advantage. By the fifth inning, the Rebels got out to a 17-2 lead and looked to close out the game. Al Magno’s West Kauai came to life in the bottom of the inning with a three-run rally but still fell short of the 12-run rule. The Rebels ended the game early with a 17-5 conquest.
With a packed house, Barteks and the Keonimana Gents brought the fireworks to close out the long day of softball. Barteks brought their A-game facing the league-leading and defending champion Gents. Keonimana was challenged with pinpoint hitting from the Westside team and Barteks was able to score on the champs. The Gents are never short on hitting and mixed a short and long game of hitting to take charge. Barteks could not hold off the power hitting of the Gents as they stretched the lead to a 17-7 win for their sixth straight win and a commanding 18-1 record on the year. The Gents also suffered a serious injury to a player during the game.
The Gents’ 18-1 mark puts them on top of the league standings. The Ohana Motors Rebels remain in second at 17-2. The Rookies’ win puts them in third at 13-5 while the Aloha Kia Lihue A’s fall to fourth at 13-5. Hana Hou, Ohana and Solid Steel are in a three-way knot in fifth with 12-6 records. Barteks closes out the top half of the league in eighth place standing at 11-8. The Islanders and Kawaihau at tied at 7-11 followed by Da Kruzers at 6 wins. The East Kauai Legends have five wins. The Hanamaulu Hillsiders remain a game in front of Kuku’s Aces and West Kauai to close out the standings.
The schedule will continue with four games at each ball park this Saturday including a makeup rain-out as the games move to Eleele and Kaumakani. West Kauai will have their all-grass Plumeria shrouded diamond in perfect order for the quadruple-header, taking on Solid Steel in the opening game. Barteks will be close to home as they face the Islanders. Ohana will be at home to square off with Kawaihau in the third game. The day will end with Kuku’s Aces battling it out with the Hanamaulu Hillsiders.
Farther west at the tropical Wally Sonoda Softball Park, the Rookies will play in a doubleheader and open the pavilion for four big games. They’ll get the day started with a showdown with the Ohana Motors Rebels. The Aloha Kia Lihue A’s will have their hands full with the Keonimana Gents in the second game. Hana Hou will be on the rebound going up against the East Kauai Legends in the late morning game. The mid-day matchup features Hana Hou and the Rookies in a makeup game.