Lautalo lifts 'Aiea into semifinal
by Stanley Lee
Advertiser Staff Writer
'AIEA — With her high school career winding down, Temu Lautalo wants to lead her team as far as possible.
Behind her clutch hitting yesterday afternoon for the 'Aiea softball team, Lautalo can finish out her career at the state tournament.
"It's exciting to come this far," said Lautalo, who drove in the winning run with a two-run triple in a 3-1 win over Kaiser in an O'ahu Interscholastic Association White tournament first-round game. "I wanted to go out with a bang since it's my last year, so I had to give it my all for my team."
'Aiea (6-6), the second seed out of the West, plays at East No. 1 Kalani (11-1) today at 3:30 p.m. in a semifinal game. 'Aiea was the only team to beat the Falcons during the regular season.
East No. 2 Kalāheo (10-3) beat West No. 3 Radford, 12-6, yesterday and advanced to play at defending champion and West No. 1 Waialua (9-2) in the other semifinal.
All four semifinalists have earned Division II state tournament berths.
"It's a relief, but we're still not giving up," Lautalo said. "We're still going to push hard in practice. A win is a win."
'Aiea rallied in the bottom of the sixth inning after East No. 3 Kaiser (8-5) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the inning.
Lautalo hit a one-out triple to the left-field fence, scoring Joe-Ann Rapoza and Kori Nishi. After Tani Tauanuu lined out to the shortstop , Macy Baron doubled to center to score courtesy runner Kendra Chong and make it 3-1.
"The last two times I went (to bat), I didn't hit it," Lautalo said. "I knew (the pitcher) was going right down the middle and I was ready for it."
Rapoza, 'Aiea's freshman pitcher, then knew it was time to settle down in the top of the seventh. Nervous for most of the game, Kaiser made her even more nervous when Mele Adams reached first on a throwing error. Chelsea Lima then hit a hard grounder to shortstop Nishi, who threw to second base to force out Adams.
Shaydon Apela-Moku then popped out to Nishi and Krysta Yasui flew out to left to end the game.
"That was very scary," Rapoza said of the seventh. "(But) I knew we had it. It was shut-down time."
NOTES: Hāna (10-2) won the Maui Interscholastic League title while Moloka'i (8-4) edged out Lāna'i (8-4) for the league's second berth by taking the series from the Pine Lasses. Waimea won the Kaua'i Interscholastic Federation title and the Big Island Interscholastic Federation tournament ends tomorrow. The 12-team state tournament starts May 11.
KAISER (8-5) 000 001 0—1 5 0
'AIEA (6-6) 000 003 X—3 4 2
Shaydon Apela-Moku and Sadie Karratti-Abordo. Joe Ann Rapoza and Ashlei Liilii. W — Rapoza. L — Apela-Moku.
Leading hitters — 'Aiea: Temu Lautalo triple, 2 RBIs.
Reported by Tracie Koide
KALĀHEO 12, RADFORD 6
Sarah Fitzherbert, Teone Farley-Mahoe and Theresa Capllonch each had three hits and Noelani Maglinti hit a home run, powering the host Mustangs over the Rams.
RADFORD (4-8) 000 202 2— 6 6 3
KALAHEO (10-3) 120 072 X—12 14 7
Jackie Santoyo, Erin Laurent (3) and Aiona Peterson. Sarah Fitzherbert and Tiffany Harada, Amanda Pavey (6). W — Fitzherbert. L — Santoyo.
Leading hitters — Radford: Laurent 2-4; Tuiai Elisara 2-4, double. Kalāheo: Fitzherbert 3-5, triple; Teone Farley-Mahoe3-4; Theresa Capllonch 3-5; Noelani Maglinti homer, 2 RBIs; Harada double.
Reported by John Spencer