Surprising Leilehua faces Kailua for title
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Wes Nakama
KAPOLEI — Leilehua will try to win its first O'ahu Interscholastic Association softball crown tonight when it takes on 13-time champion and perennial state powerhouse Kailua.
First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m. at Central O'ahu Regional Park, and the game will be televised live statewide on OC-16.
Leilehua's appearance in the title game is especially surprising this year, after the Mules finished 6-6 and in fourth place in the OIA Red Conference Western Division.
But they definitely are the league's hottest team now, knocking off West No. 2 seed Pearl City, 6-1, in yesterday's semifinals at Kapolei High School. That came a day after stunning East champion Castle, 4-2, on the road.
"I think it's because we really want it," said pitcher Tiana Vierra, who tossed a five-hitter yesterday and went 3 for 4 with a double. "We have nine seniors, and we've been picking each other up, making the plays when we need to."
Leilehua (9-6) also showed patience despite trailing 1-0 through the first four innings. Pearl City (11-3) had taken the lead in the bottom of the first when leadoff batter Marina Gusman-Brown singled, stole second and came home after two wild pitches.
The Mules had only two hits through the first four innings, but erupted for four runs in the fifth helped by three hits — including RBI singles by Nikki Ige and Ashley Phillips — and an error, stolen base, wild pitch and passed ball.
Leilehua added two more runs in the sixth after Phillips' RBI single and Ige's sacrifice fly. The Chargers helped again with an error and a wild pitch.
"Our defense and our pitching broke down," Pearl City coach Keoke Behic said. "But Leilehua is a scrappy team and they played with heart. We beat them twice (in the regular season) and held them to one hit the first time and two hits the second. But give them credit — they learned from that and came out swinging today and really put the pressure on us."
The bottom of the Mules' order was particularly dangerous, with the Nos. 7, 8 and 9 batters going 4 for 10 with five runs scored.
"Yesterday it was the middle of our order, Nos. 3-4-5," Leilehua coach Stacy Araki said. "Every game, somebody different pitches in. I think we're peaking now, and we have nothing to lose because no one expected us to get this far."
LEILEHUA (9-6) 000 042 0 — 6 9 1
PEARL CITY (11-3) 100 000 0 — 1 5 3
Tiana Vierra and Ashley Phillips. Marina Gusman-Brown, Corrie Nishikida (5) and Noelle Hirahara. W — Vierra. L — Gusman-Brown.
Leading hitters: Leil—Nikki Ige 2-3, 2 RBIs; Vierra 3-4, double; Phillips 2-4, 2 RBIs. PC—Nishikida 2-2.
PEARL CITY 3, MOANALUA 2
The Chargers defeated Na Menehune earlier yesterday to reach the OIA semifinals.
MOANALUA (9-5) 000 000 2—2 7 0
PEARL CITY (11-2) 001 200 X—3 6 1
Sarah Robinson and Shelby Nakachi. Corrie Nishikida and Noelle Hirahara. W—Nishikida. L— Robinson.
Leading hitters: Moanalua—Tracy Yoshikawa 3-3. Pearl City—Marina Gusman-Brown double.
Reported by Keoke Behic
MOANALUA 1, CASTLE 0
Traci Yoshikawa drove in Jacie Matsukawa from second with two outs for the game's only run. She pinch ran for Dawn Dela Cruz, who got on with a single and was sacrificed to second.
Moanalua hosts Kapolei for fifth place today. Both teams have earned state tournament berths.
Castle hosts Campbell for seventh place and the OIA's final state berth.
MOANALUA (10-5) 000 000 1—1 3 0
CASTLE (11-3) 000 000 0—0 3 0
Sarah Robinson and Shelby Nakachi. Alana Abbey, Chandel Dacosin (1) and Kelsea Berinobis. W—Robinson. L—Dacosin.
Leading hitters: Moanalua—Traci Yoshikawa double, RBI.
Reported by Jon Berinobis
KALAHEO WINS TITLE, STATE DII BERTH, 7-0
Kaliko Kepa went 4 for 4 and pitched a four-hitter to lead Kalaheo to the O'ahu Interscholastic Association White Conference championship with a 7-0 victory over 'Aiea. Lili Cabral, Katie Lintz and Lohi Aweau each added two hits for the Mustangs. Kalaheo and Aiea have clinched berths in the Division II state tournament.
'AIEA (7-3) 000 000 0—0 4 0
KALAHEO (11-0) 400 300 X—7 13 3
Ashley Sharsde and Sasha Andrada. Kaliko Kepa and Kaliko Serrao. W—Kepa. L— Sharsde.
Leading hitters: 'Aiea—Rayna Strom-Okimoto double. Kalaheo—Kepa 4-4; Lili Cabral 2-4; Katie Lintz 2-3; Lohi Aweau 2-3.
Reported by Al Cofran
WAIPAHU 10, MCKINLEY 3
Elsa Apo went 4 for 4 and pitched a complete game to help the Mauraders defeat the Tigers for third place in the OIA White. Waipahu earns the OIA's third and final berth in the Division II state tournament.
MCKINLEY (3-8) 010 000 2— 3 4 1
WAIPAHU (7-3) 420 202 X—10 12 2
Gloria Hong and Trudy Hong. Elsa Apo and Mercedes Kaleikini, Krissaundra Noga (4). W—Apo. L—G. Hong.
Leading hitters: McKinley—Chelsey Madariaga double. Waipahu—Mahea Spencer 2-4; Apo 4-4, 2 doubles, triple; Michelle Samson 2-4, double; Abby Sio 2-2; Noga double.
Reported by Sheri Elarco
KAMEHAMEHA CAPTURES CHAMPIONSHIP, 7-3
Brittany Clark, Dara Pagaduan and Alyssa Bergado homered to help Kamehameha clinch the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division I championship with a 7-3 victory over Sacred Hearts.
SACRED HEARTS (4-10) 000 000 3—3 5 1
KAMEHAMEHA (13-1) 210 220 X—7 8 1
Joslyn Eugenio and Chelsey Kamai. Noe Esperas, Amber Waracka (7) and Kahea Alohikea, Kanani Adams (6). W—Esperas. L—Eugenio.
Leading hitters: Sacred Hearts—Laura Abellanida RBI; Tiara Ilae RBI. Kamehameha—Kaui Tom 2-3, double, 2 RBIs; Brittany Clark 2-3, homer, 2 RBIs, 2 runs; Dara Pagaduan homer, 2 RBIs; Alyssa Bergado homer.
Reported by Ty Sing Chow
Reach Wes Nakama at email@example.com.