Senior softballers still swinging

  • Photo courtesy J Robertson

    “Bartek’s Guy Ruiz clears the bases in Bartek’s come from behind 12-11 win over the Hanamaulu Hillsiders.”

WAILUA — The Kauai Senior Softball pulled -off a series of nail-biters in the next to final weekend of the season. Wins and losses in these games make a difference in the standings to determine bracket placement for each team in the upcoming Hawaii State Senior Softball Tournament in Kona.

The East Kauai Legends put the Wailua Houselots Park in shape for a three game slate. The Hanamaulu Hillsiders took the honors of hosting the games at the Isenberg Softball Stadium.

Once the all-natural garden park in the Houselots was prepared the Legends took on West Kauai to start the day. Skippa Holt had the Legends bats in fine tune as they took off with rallies. Al Magno lit a fire under the sticks for West Kauai and his line-up found the park a good place to hit as well. The early morning crowd was treated to a slugfest as both teams scored in double digits. The Legends out hit West Kauai and came away with an exciting 13 to 10 win.

Da Kruzers squared off with Ohana in the mid-morning match. Duane Girard is enjoying Da Kruzers most successful season since joining the league a few years ago. They were ready to take on Frank Bukoski’s Ohana who has powered their way into a three way fight to the finish for fourth place in the standings.

Da Kruzers came through and put together 7 scores over the complete game. Ohana has the experience and steady line up and responded with power ending on top with a 10 to 7 win. The victory moved Ohana into a position to take a one game advantage in their standings.

The Islanders had their hands full taking on the Rookies in the final Wailua contest. Joe Bertucci got the Islanders up for the task. But Alan Horikawa had the Rookies fire off more offense than the Islanders could handle. The Rookies continue to storm their way through the second half of the season remaining undefeated. The Islanders gave it a game knocking in 8 runs holding off a knock-out score. The Rookies are unstoppable and hammered their way to overpower the Islanders 18 to 8.

Early morning showers turned into sunshine as the Hanamaulu Hillsiders had the unusual experience of hosting four games at the Isenberg Softball Stadium despite calling the Peter Rayno Park home. They took particular pride in setting up the field getting ready to face Barteks in the opening game and showing off a new team hat.

Peter Rayno took the mound for the Hillsiders and got off to an inspired start shutting down the vaunted Barteks hitters. Barteks was able to get started and put up a few scores to take the lead. Hanamaulu found some pop and blasted a pair of three run homeruns to snatch the back and forth lead.

Barteks battled back but found themselves down 11 to 7 going into the final inning. In the top of the seventh, Rayno got two quick outs before a shallow hit that opened the door. A couple of bobbled balls later and Barteks had the tying runs on the bases.

One more base hit and Barteks tied the game and came across with another run to take a lead at the close of the inning. The Hillsiders didn’t have an answer and went down swinging as Barteks came from behind with two outs to capture a 12 to 11 victory. With the win Barteks takes the edge in the tie for fourth place ahead of Ohana.

Kawaihau took the home dugout in their game with the Aloha Kia Lihue A’s. Being visitors put the A’s in a strange dugout and it threw them off in the early innings. Henry Hee always has Kawaihau fired up for a game and they were ready to take on Dwight Fujii’s very talented Aloha Kia squad. The outfield offered up big holes for both teams as the long ball started to take effect. Kawaihau took advantage of a few opportunities to take charge but the A’s know how to rally and come back. The game came down to the final inning with Kawaihau delivering in the clutch and snatching a trim 12 to 11 win. The loss drops the A’s from the three way tie for fourth.

Tom Christy had Solid Steel working hard during the week getting ready to battle it out with the Ohana Motors Rebels. Gary Yates was asking the Rebels for a strong effort in the final game for the team this season. The Rebels batted first and pasted 5 runs on the scoreboard. They then put the Steel down without a score. Four consecutive 5 run innings gave the Rebels a 20 to nothing lead heading into the fifth inning.

Rebel hurler Myles Yoshida had pitched a brilliant game hand cuffing a strong Solid Steel line-up and got two outs to begin the bottom of the fifth. Solid Steel’s Randy Keller found himself at bat with two outs and two strikes. He swung at a high pitch and launched a towering home run to deep left field to stymie the shut-out. The Rebels finished their year handing Solid Steel a 20 to 1 defeat in 5 innings.

Kuku’s Aces took the field with Hana Hou across the diamond in the final game of the morning. Neal Zaslow has Hana Hou putting on an impressive first year in the league. They have shown each week that they have both power and touch in their hitting with the ability to post run’s every inning. The Aces always show up ready to play. On this Saturday Hana Hou had a relentless hitting streak combined with long fly balls to put the game away early. Hana Hou cruised to a 19 to 1 victory with over two dozen hits.

The Keonimana Gents had the weekend off and stand in first place going into the final weekend of play with a 26 and 1 record. The Rookies will face off with the Gents in the final game of the season. Both teams are undefeated in the second round. This game will determine the second place finish in the final standings. The Rookies occupy second on their 23 and 4 record and a game to play.

The Ohana Motors Rebels are a half game back at 23 and 5 after completing the season. If the Rookies win they take second place, if they lose the Rebels will claim second place. Barteks and Ohana are tied for 4th at 18 and 9 with Barteks holding the tie breaking advantage. The Aloha Kia Lihue A’s dropped into a tie for 6th with Hana Hou at 17 and 10. The A’s have the upper-hand in the tie breaker. Solid Steel fell to 8th place with a record of 15 and 11. They have two games remaining on their schedule.

The other half of the standings is topped by Kawaihau with a dozen victories. The Islanders are one game behind at 11 and 16. The East Kauai Legends are just ahead of Da Kruzers followed by the Hanamaulu Hillsiders, Kuku’s Aces and West Kauai.

The entire league plays the final weekend of the season at the Hanapepe Stadium Softball complexes. Barteks welcomes four games to their stadium diamond. The Hanamaulu Hillsiders will host for the second week in a row setting up the west “K” youth field. Senior softball players tend to feel younger on the youth diamond.

Barteks starts the morning with Kawaihau on the agenda. The East Kauai Legends will be in town to take on locally based Ohana. The crowd will be over flowing when the two Goliath’s collide and the Rookies take on the Keonimana Gents in the third contest. The Islanders will wrap up the morning taking on West Kauai.

Across on the K field the Hillsiders will square off with Hana Hou. Da Kruzers will go up against Kuku’s Aces in the second game. Solid Steel will have a double-header to close out their year. First they will take on the Aloha Kia Lihue A’s in game three and then make up a rain out against Da Kruzers.


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