The Baldwin Bears won their first state softball championship with their only hit of the game, defeating Kamehameha 1-0 last night at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the bases loaded and no one out, Sabrina Alesna-Mindoro hit a fly ball over the drawn-in left fielder, and Ashlyn Russell scored from third base.
"I wasnt paying attention to the defense at all," Alesna-Mindoro said. "I was just watching the release point. Leo (Sing Chow) is a very good pitcher. I didnt think, I just reacted."
Russell opened the inning when she was hit by a pitch from Sing Chow on a full count. Baldwins Shannon Tabion slapped a ground ball to third base, but the second baseman covering first couldnt hold the high hurl. The ball kicked away and Russell and Tabion raced to third and second.
Sing Chow walked Angela LaRose on four pitches to fill the bases. Alesna-Mindoro hit the first pitch to her to an open left field.
"Our game plan was to, in that situation, have Shannon bat left-handed and slap the ball to try to move the runner and hope it would cause them to miss their rotation or make a mistake," Baldwin coach Ryan Souza said. "It worked.
"When they intentionally walked Angela to pitch to Sabrina, I felt good because Sabrina has been clutch for us all season long.
Tabion allowed three hits but only struck out six, none after third inning, compared to her 63 strikeouts in 35 state tournament innings the past two years.
"I was not hitting my spots tonight because I was tired and I had a cut knuckle on my right index finger," Tabion said. "I trust my defense. I can rely on my defense. The young ones are really good." She pitched 22 innings in three nights of the state tournament.
Sing Chow almost became the second pitcher to no-hit Baldwin. In Fridays semifinal game, Iolanis Ianeta Lei pitched a no-hitter against Baldwin but lost, 1-0.
"These girls, I love them to death. Theyre all like my own kids," Souza said. "They worked so hard all season, and the parents and everybody have been so supportive."
Souza took over as coach last year for his father, Rudy, who was coach when Baldwin lost to Kamehameha in the 1993 final game, 2-0.
Rudy, semi-retired from coaching, flew to Oahu for last nights game.
Baldwin, champions of the Maui Interscholastic League, went unbeaten with an 11-player roster. The Bears were seeded No. 3 in the tournament. Kamehameha, the Interscholastic League of Honolulu runner-up, was unseeded.
The Warriors had lost only once before in eight championship-game appearances since 1985.
The Bears finished the season 15-0, 25-3 including preseason. Kamehameha finished 15-4 and 30-4.
Alesna-Mindoro was on her cell phone after the game calling Maui with the good news.
"My godmother promised she would give us a party if we won, so I called her to tell her to start getting ready," she said.
The game will be broadcast today at 4:30 and 10:30 p.m. on KFVE (channel 5, cable 5).
DP-Baldwin 1, Kamehameha 1. LOB-Kamehameha 4, Baldwin 2.
SH-Cho. SB-Eldredge, Siangco.
Kamehameha IP H R ER BB SO
Sing Chow 6 1 1 1 2 6
Tabion W 7 3 0 0 4 6
Sing Chow pitched to 4 batters in the 7th.
HBP-Russell and Siangco by Sing Chow.
T-1:47. A-1,100 (est.)
Mililani 3, Iolani 2: Charity Senas scored the winning run on an infield throwing error in the seventh inning as the Trojans took third place.
Senas walked and scored from first on an infield throwing error with one out in the bottom of the seventh.
Senas also scored to tie the game at 2 on Lauren Kims single in the fifth inning, when the Trojans got two runs on four hits.
IOLANI 000 200 0-2 4 2
MILILANI 000 020 1-3 6 2
WP-Miki Asamura. Leading Hitters: Mili-Britney Shimamoto 2-3.
Kailua 3, Pearl City 2: Kailua scored two runs in the top of the sixth inning to defeat the Chargers for fifth place.
KAILUA 001 002 0-3 5 2
PEARL CITY 002 00x 0-2 4 3
WP-Danielle Young. Leading hitters: Kailua-Kainoa Hughes 2-3, 2 RBIs. PC-Cheryl Villarmia 2-3.
Waimea 1, Leilehua 0: Waimea scored a run in the first and pitcher Albette Nawai made it stand up for a victory in the seventh-place game.
LEILEHUA 000 000-0 7 3
WAIMEA 100 000-1 3 1
WP-Albette Nawai. Leading hitters: Lei-Charlotte Garcia 2-3.
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