The Kaua‘i Senior Softball League braved the wet and windy conditions on Saturday to pack two parks with exciting clutch play and an abundance of hitting scoring 147 runs in seven games.
There were four games hosted by Kawaihau at the Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex while Solid Steel hosted a three-game set at ‘Ele‘ele Field.
Lihu‘e A’s topple Kawaihau
Kawaihau opened the day in Kapa‘a, taking on the Aloha Kia Lihu‘e A’s. A newly rejuvenated Kawaihau squad continued to show their marked improvement matching the A’s polished attach hit for hit and run for run. Both clubs continued a see-saw battle using timely hitting and a few well-placed long balls. Aloha Kia pulled ahead in the late innings and had to hold on for a tight, hard-fought 10-8 victory.
Rebels mount late-inning comeback over Rookies
The day continued with the Rookies battling it out with the ‘Ohana Motors Rebels. The teams finished second and third last season and looked forward to the contest. The Rookies, still hot from a sizzling opening day victory, went to work crushing drives, and putting up runs at ease jumping out to a big lead. The Rebels came up with only a few terms at a time as the scored stretched to the Rookies advantage and a 10-6 point going into the final inning. The Rebels kept swinging and clawed out an 11-10 lead in the top of the 7th. In the bottom half of the inning, the Rookies were facing two outs with two on base and the last chance. A sharp line drive to left brought the runners from third and second home for an 11-10 come from behind walk-off victory for the Rookies.
Islanders clutch-hitting propels them to victory over the Aces
Joe Bertucci brought the Islanders up the coast to face Kuku’s Aces in the third match-up. Both clubs were in search of their first win of the year. Kuku’s has the Aces bats singing this season as they continue to crack solid run-scoring hits. The Islanders are loaded with talent and are putting the pieces together. With a few sprinkles to make the game more interesting, the Islanders started to pull away with their power-hitting lineup. The Aces made it enjoyable in the early, racking up four runs but could not stop the rallies from the Islanders. The Islanders came up with a game-ending run-scoring single in the bottom of the 5th for a 12-run advantage and sailed away with a 16-4 win.
Gents shut out legends
The East Kaua‘i Legends wrapped up the four-game set going up against the Keonimana Gents. Gusty winds brought a few showers to the field as the game got underway. Fans reached for their umbrellas, and the Gents picked up their bats. The game got out of control early with Keonimana putting the clamps on the usually stout line-up from the Legends. The other dugout had no problem using the entire field to rack up a barrage of hits and runs. The Gents continue to roll through the early season competition pounding out a 22-0 shut out.
Barteks outslug Solid Steel
It was equally windy and raining on the usually-sunny Westside at the Plumeria lined ‘Ele‘ele Park field. Solid Steel was tabbed the host team for the three games on the slate and challenged Barteks to open the day. There is no shortage of firepower between these two hard-hitting teams. Both clubs came out swinging in the small park and kept the scoreboard ringing. Tom Christy had Solid Steel knocking in 15 runs to keep their double-digit average in tack. Shapa Ramos, in his first official year at the helm of Barteks, had the answer knocking the ball around the park and taking advantage of aggressive base running. Barteks picked up their second win of the season, making the slugfest 20-15 in a full seven-inning game.
‘Ohana rebounds with win over Da Kruzers
Tony Rapozo got ‘Ohana to rebound in their second outing of the year in their contest against Da Kruzers. Da Kruzers hit a snag after a thrilling game a week ago and fell short at the plate knocking in just three-run in a shortened game. Ohana continued to use their weapons and home-field knowledge to carve out a comfortable 17-3 triumph to even out their record.
Hillsiders edge West Kaua‘i
The feature game of the day was a wild one. The Hanam‘ulu Hillsiders and West Kaua‘i tangled in a one-run finish. The battle was on early with neither team able to pull away with a lead. Both defensed turned in sterling performances that kept the outcome in doubt until the final out. Each team had been shellacked in their opening games and fought hard to earn the first win. West Kaua‘i carved out five runs on the scoreboard only to fall a bit short as Pete Rayno maneuvered the veteran Hillsider line-up to post an additional run and come away with a 6-5 thriller.
The Keonimana Gents, Rookies, Barteks and Aloha Kia Lihu‘e A’s remain undefeated after two games. The Hanamaulu Hillsiders, Islanders, ‘Ohana Motors Rebels, ‘Ohana and Solid Steel are a game back with 1 and 1 records. The East Kaua‘i Legends, Da Kruzers, Kuku’s Aces, and West Kauai are looking for a first win of the year.
Games are scheduled Saturday in Kaumakani and Isenberg Park in Lihu‘e. Kuku’s Aces will welcome four games at Wally Sonoda Field, and challenge Kawaihau in the first contest. ‘Ohana will take on the Rookies, Barteks will square off with the Hanama‘ulu Hillsiders and the East Kaua‘i Legends meet Solid Steel.
At Isenberg, the Keonimana Gents battle with the resurgent Islanders. The mid-morning match-up features the Aloha Kia Lihu‘e A’s on their home turf up against Da Kruzers. The games will conclude with the ‘Ohana Motors Rebels taking on West Kaua‘i. The games start at 9 a.m.