HIGH SCHOOLS | SOFTBALL ALL-STARS
Kamehameha rules in all-state softball
|||The faces of the all-star team|
|||Neighbor Island softball all-stars|
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
Before this year's state softball tournament, Kamehameha senior Leo Sing Chow already had established herself as perhaps Hawai'i's best high school pitcher.
Advertiser library photo Jan. 9, 2002
Kamehameha's Leo Sing Chow was an imposing figure both on the mound and at the plate. As a pitcher, she was 13-0 with a 0.32 earned run average. As a hitter, she batted .465 with three home runs.
Advertiser library photo Jan. 9, 2002
Then, during one three-day stretch in the state tournament's quarterfinals, semifinals and championship, Sing Chow put on a pitching and hitting exhibition the likes of which have not been seen in at least a decade.
In the quarterfinals, she pitched a one-hitter against Waimea, striking out 11 and walking two in a 3-0 victory. At the plate, she went 2 for 3 with a monster home run that hit the scoreboard in right field at the University of Hawai'i's Rainbow Wahine Stadium.
The next day, Sing Chow pitched a four-hitter against Baldwin, striking out 10 and walking none to lead the Warriors to an 8-1 win. She also went 2 for 4 with a stolen base and one RBI.
In the championship game, Sing Chow did not have a strikeout but allowed only four hits and notched a 4-0 shutout against Kailua. She went 2 for 3 with a double, home run and three RBIs. Her home run was a line shot over the center-field fence.
"I cannot recall anyone pitching and hitting like that in the tournament," said Mililani coach Mike Okimoto. "Usually it's one or the other."
The stunning state tournament performance left Sing Chow with these staggering statistics: 13-0, 0.32 ERA, 99 strikeouts, .465 batting average, three home runs. It also helped her clinch Advertiser State Player of the Year honors after a vote of 15 coaches, officials and media people from around Hawai'i.
Sing Chow leads a contingent of seven Kamehameha players on the All-State first team. Joining her are teammates Kate Robinson, Samantha Sardinha, Sharee Fonoti, Ashley Ruff, Gina Cummings and Brandi Peiler.
Also making the first team are Baldwin's Zoie Sevilla and Ashlyn Russell, Mililani's B.J. Shimamoto and Miki Asamura, Kaiser's Mary-Ann Tualau, Kailua's Courtney Kessell and Kaimuki's Tyleen Tausaga.
Sardinha, a senior second baseman, batted .406 and had a fielding percentage of .960. Her brothers Dane, Duke and Bronson were standout baseball players for the Warriors, and Dane and Bronson are playing professionally.
Duke plays for Pepperdine. None of the brothers, however, was able to play on a state championship team at Kamehameha like Samantha did.
Fonoti, a senior third baseman, batted .293 with seven RBIs. She shares the third base spot on the All-State first team with Kaiser's Tualau, a junior. Tualau batted .714 with 17 RBIs.
Ruff, a senior shortstop, was a slick fielder who also batted .426 from the leadoff position, with 10 stolen bases. She hit four home runs, scored 13 runs and had 12 RBIs.
"That kid is a super athlete," Okimoto said. "She is quick on her feet, has good range and can throw on the run. She can play for UH right now."
Ruff signed a letter of intent to play for the Rainbow Wahine next year.
"(UH coach) Bob Coolen picked up a good shortstop," Okimoto said.
Cummings, a senior centerfielder, hit .476 with two home runs and 13 RBIs. Peiler, a sophomore left fielder, batted .600 with seven doubles and 15 RBIs. She is a repeat selection from last year.
Shimamoto, a junior center fielder, also is a repeat selection. She batted .400 from the leadoff position.
Sevilla, a junior center fielder, batted .388 from the leadoff spot and had an on-base percentage of .588. She also drew attention in the state tournament by throwing out two runners at home plate.
Russell, a senior catcher, is another repeat selection. She batted .443 with two home runs and was tough to steal on because of her strong throwing arm.
Asamura, a junior pitcher, went 4-1 with one save and had an ERA of 0.38. She was named Player of the Year in the O'ahu Interscholastic Association's Western Division.
Kessell, a freshman pitcher, went 8-3 with 76 strikeouts. She was especially impressive in the state tournament, when she tossed a four-hitter with seven strikeouts against Iolani in the quarterfinals, a game Kailua won 4-1.
In a 2-1 semifinal victory over Leilehua, Kessell pitched a three-hitter with nine strikeouts and no walks.
In the championship loss to Kamehameha, Kessell struck out five of the first six batters she faced.
Okimoto said her tournament performance was the best he has seen by a freshman pitcher since Kailua's Pomai Kapule in the mid-1990s.
Tausaga, a junior first baseman and shortstop, was selected to the All-State first team as a utility player. She batted .780 in 13 OIA games, with six home runs, five doubles and five triples. A rare left-handed shortstop, Tausaga surprised many observers with her range and ability to throw runners out.
Kamehameha's Ty Sing Chow, Leo's uncle, was named Coach of the Year. The Warriors finished the season with a 15-0 record and claimed their first state championship since 1998.
Kailua's Bernard Victor, whose team reached the state championship despite having only one senior on its roster, also received consideration for Coach of the Year.