WAILUA — The Kauai Senior Softball League moved into the season’s home stretch with a seven-game schedule on the Eastside with games at the Wailua Houselots Garden and the Bryan J Baptiste Sports Complex. Kawaihau was on tap to host the four games in Wailua, while the East Kauai Legends took their turn hosting a triple-header in Kapaa.
Henry Hee had Kawaihau on the field for a morning matchup with West Kauai guided by Al Magno. The Kawaihau bats were in full force cracking the game open early and put together an overwhelming offense. West Kauai could not keep up with the pace and went down with the twelve-run rule in effect. Kawaihau rolled on to a 14-2 win to start the day.
The Rookies took on Solid Steel. Alan Horikawa has the Rookies on a nine-game winning streak and unbeaten in the second round. Tom Christy has the Steel bringing run-scoring lumber in every contest. Solid Steel put up a baker’s dozen on the scoreboard hoping it would be enough. The Rookies are manufacturing runs with no problem and answered the call once again, posting a 16-13 victory to climb into second place in the league standings.
Ohana squared off with the scrappy Hanamaulu Hillsiders. Frank Bukoski has Ohana looking to go up the ladder in the standings before the season’s end. The Hillsiders continue to put up a good game but tend to fade in the late innings. The two teams put up a scoring marathon for seven innings with each side scoring at will at times. Pete Rayno was able to light a fire under the Hillsider bats as they notched 15 runs. Bukoski’s bunch relied on the long ball and solid hitting in response and held off the Hillsiders in a 22-15 conquest.
The final game in the Gardens pitted Hana Hou against Da Kruzers. Neal Zaslow continues to keep Hana Hou in the race in the team’s inaugural season. Duane Girard has Da Kruzers turning in good results with a new zest for hitting. The park could not contain the bats with Da Kruzers peppering out nine runs. Hana Hou kept up their winning ways and pounded 12 runs to capture a 12-9 win to remain tied with Solid Steel in the standings.
Norman Holt had the East Kauai Legends on early-morning grounds keeping duty at the softball stadium at the Bryan Baptiste Sports Complex. The Legends faced Barteks to get the games underway. Chapa Ramos had Barteks put a lid on the Legends early and kept them off the scoreboard over five innings. The game was called with the 12-run rule in effect after six innings with Barteks hammering out a 16-1 victory.
The Aloha Kia Lihue A’s are lurking just off the league pace and looked for an important win taking on the Joe Bertucci’s Islanders. Dwight Fujii put together a game plan for the A’s and it paid off. Lihue’s place hitting and steady base running kept the scoring machine in top form. The Islanders got their fair share of hits but could not put them together for any rallies. Lihue found no problem, racking up a 12-run advantage and cruised to a 16-4 win.
The league’s top-two teams faced off in the final game as the Ohana Motors Rebels took on the Keonimana Gents. The hurlers shut down the opposing bats over seven innings in a low scoring contest. Wayne Laranio took the mound for the Gents while Myles Yoshida was on the rubber for the Rebels. They both tossed outstanding games and each got a couple of double plays on defense to short circuit any scoring threats.
The Gents pecked out a small lead after three innings, but the Rebels kept up until Keonimana rallied for a 6-5 lead headed into the seventh inning. They added one insurance run in the top of the frame to claim a 7-5 edge. The Rebels rallied in the home-half on three walks and a couple of sacrifices to cut the score to 7-6 with the tying run at second base. Laranio got a long fly ball into left to close out the game, 7-6, and by knocking off the Rebels to extend their league lead. The Rebels suffer back-to-back losses for the first time this season.
The Gents victory extends their league lead to three games at 20-1 for the year. The Rebels loss drops them into a tie with the Rookies for second at 17-4. The Aloha Kia Lihue A’s and Ohana stand in fourth with 15-6 records. Hana Hou and Solid Steel are tied at 14-7, and Barteks rounds out the top 8 at 13-8. Kawaihau has eight wins at this point in the season just ahead for the Islanders. Da Kruzers, East Kauai Legends and Hanamaulu Hillsiders follow with Kuku’s Aces and West Kauai rounding out the league.
Kauai Senior Softball splits the island for the next series of games. The Rebels will return home to Puhi for the first time in eight weeks to host the games at the Rebel Field in Puhi Park. West Kauai will manage a four-game schedule out at the Eleele Park.
The Ohana Motors Rebels will take on the Islanders in the opening game on the all-grass field in Puhi. The Aloha Kia Lihue A’s will have the East Kauai Legends on the diamond in game two. The morning concludes with the Keonimana Gents taking on Solid Steel.
At the Eleele Plumeria park, West Kauai will have their hands full with the Hanamaulu Hillsiders. Barteks has Da Kruzers in the second contest. The Rookies will try to continue to climb up the standings and keep their streak alive taking on Kawaihau. The long day of softball will wrap up with Kuku’s Aces squaring off with Ohana.