Sunday, January 21, 2001
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Posted on: Sunday, January 21, 2001

Defense matters as Asamura hurls Mililani to title

By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer

KANE'OHE - Mililani’s Miki Asamura and Pearl City’s Loihi McKeague pitched like staff aces in the Oahu Interscholastic Association softball championship yesterday at Hawaii Pacific University-Windward field.

The difference was Asamura got defensive support.

Asamura pitched a three-hitter, and the Trojans capitalized on miscues as Mililani defeated Pearl City, 2-0. The Trojans have won three consecutive OIA titles and 40 consecutive league games.

"When you win a championship there’s pressure on you because you need to defend," Mililani coach Mike Okimoto said. "It gets tougher to get them up again and get them into the right frame of mind."

Asamura, who walked one and struck out five, allowed only one runner to reach second base. She threw 85 pitches (53 strikes and 32 balls).

"I just hit my spots," Asamura said. "Who helped me out the most were my fielders. They help me out a lot on defense because I can’t do it by myself."

Leadoff batter Tiari Keliinoi scored both runs for the Trojans. Both were unearned.

Keliinoi led off the bottom of the first inning with a single to left field. She advanced to second on a bunt by Britney Shimamoto, and scored on a passed ball.

In the third, Keliinoi reached first on an error by shortstop Cheryl Villarmia. She advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored when first baseman Kellie Nishikida couldn’t come up with a throw by McKeague on a bunt attempt by Shimamoto.

"We felt that we could come out and do the job, but we unfortunately broke down on fundamentals," Pearl City coach Cheyenne Thompson said. "What we need to do is go back and work on basic fundamentals all over again."

The only hit allowed by McKeague was Keliinoi’s single in the first. McKeague walked one and struck out one. She threw 71 pitches (45 strikes, 26 balls).

"Loihi is one of the better pitchers in the state right now," Okimoto said. "We knew the game would be tight, so we needed to play the small game. You need to have luck, too."

Mililani, Pearl City, Kaimuki, Leilehua and Kailua will represent the OIA at the state softball championships Jan. 31 to Feb. 3 at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.

"The goal was to win the West, secondary goal was to win the OIA and the third goal was the states," Okimoto said. "We got by two goals already, so now we just have to head for the last goal. Last year, we took second (in the state tournament)."

Said Thompson: "My girls will come back strong and they’ll do the best they can for states."

PEARL CITY (10-2) 000 000 0-0 3 3

MILILANI (12-0) 101 000 X-2 1 0

WP-Miki Asamura. Leading Hitter: Mil-Tiari Keliinoi 2 runs.

KAIMUKI 2, LEILEHUA 1: Jamie Reyes pitched a four-hitter and struck out six and Tyleen Tausaga drove in both runs as the Bulldogs defeated the Mules in the third-place game.

Leilehua stranded 12 runners, including the bases loaded in the final two innings.

In the seventh inning, Leilehua loaded the bases with one out. Reyes got Charlotte Garcia to hit a grounder to left-handed shortstop Tausaga. Tausaga’s throw to the plate was low, but Tahra Hussey was able to short-hop the ball and tag out runner Colette Guerrero. Reyes struck out Sherris Richards to end the game.

LEILEHUA 000 100 0-1 4 0

KAIMUKI 101 000 X-2 5 2

WP-Jamie Reyes. Leading Hitter: Kaim-Tyleen Tausaga 2 RBIs.

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