Waialua rallies past Kohala Sabers' 'A' game leaves Rough Riders smarting
By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
The Waialua softball team decided to switch from swinging away to bunting for the final inning last night against Kohala, and it went a long way toward a thrilling victory at Central O'ahu Regional Park.
Waialua put down four consecutive bunts in the bottom of the seventh — with each batter reaching safely — and Charee Wong's RBI single to center capped a two-run rally as the Bulldogs beat Kohala, 7-6, in the first round of the DataHouse Division II Softball State Championships.
"We were hitting fly balls right to their players," said Waialua coach Jay Keao. "We needed to go to the small game which we practice a lot."
Waialua will face No. 3 seed Hāna, the Maui Interscholastic League champion, in a quarterfinal game today at 5 p.m.
In the Waialua seventh, Ciara Balidoy led off with a bunt single between the circle and third.
Michaela Chalker put down a bunt to the third baseman, whose throw to first base was high. The right fielder's throw back to the infield was bobbled by the first baseman, enabling Balidoy to tie the score and Chalker to reach second.
Lacy Escorzon followed with a bunt single to the pitcher with Chalker advancing to third. Escorzon then stole second.
Waialua, the O'ahu Interscholastic Association runner-up, loaded the bases when Karina Bayudan reached on a fielder's choice bunt to the catcher, who decided to hold on to the ball.
Before stepping to the plate, Wong said: "A lot of adrenaline was coming to me. A lot."
Wong lined the single off the glove of the diving center fielder to score Chalker and win it for Waialua (11-3).
Kohala (5-7), the Big Island Interscholastic Federation's No. 3 team, had taken a 6-5 lead in the sixth when Kui Ching singled in Jordelle Antonio and the tie-breaking run scored right behind her on a throwing error by the center fielder.
"They all played with heart like we did all season," said Kohala coach Donovan Aiona. "I'm very proud of the girls."
KOHALA (5-7) 101 004 0—6 9 4
WAIALUA (11-3) 220 010 2—7 14 3
Chyker Imai and Britney Tores. Karina Bayudan and Pua Naki. W — Bayudan. L — Imai.
Leading hitters — Kohala: Tita Alcoran 2-4, RBI; Paea Holschuh 2-3, double, RBI; Noe Aiona double; Kui Ching 3-3, triple, RBI. Waialua: Charee Wong 2-4, 2 runs, RBI, Althia Dicion 3-4, 2 runs, RBI, Naki 2-4, Ciara Balidoy 3-4, double, 2 runs, 2 RBI, Lacy Escorzon 2-3.
KAUA'I 11, MOLOKA'I 1
Kaua'i is the reigning state Division II softball champion, but coach Darrell Borrero's hopes aren't too high this year.
Perhaps yesterday's rout of Moloka'i will raise his expectations.
Naja Pungan pitched a seven-hitter and the top four batters in the Kaua'i order scored 10 runs in a six-inning victory over Moloka'i.
"Obviously, we lost a lot of girls from last year," Borrero said. "We came up here second place on Kaua'i. We're just coming over with no expectations."
Kaua'i (9-4) will play No. 1 seed Kalani, the OIA champion, tonight.
Pungan walked one and struck out seven for Kaua'i, which finished second to Waimea in the Kaua'i Interscholastic Federation.
The Red Raiders had 13 hits, drew seven walks and were hit by three pitches against Moloka'i (8-5), the MIL runner-up.
Kaua'i lead-off hitter Randee Layosa and No. 3 batter Tia Obrero each scored three times. No. 2 hitter Melia Aki and clean-up batter Courtney La'amea both scored twice.
MOLOKA'I (8-5) 001 001— 1 7 1
KAUA'I (9-4) 300 242—11 13 0
Korie-Lee Dudoit-English and Larriley Rawlins. Naja Pungan and Carly Matsumoto. W—Pungan. L—Dudoit-English.
Leading hitters—Moloka'i: Dudoit-English 2-3; Genessa Puaoi 2-3, Larriley Rawlins double, RBI; Keila Tanner double. Kaua'i: Randee Layosa 2-4, 3 runs; Melia Aki 2-4, double, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Tia Obrero 4-4, double, 3 runs, 2 RBIs; Waileia Kanealii 2-4; Pungan 2-4, double, 2 RBIs.
KALĀHEO 9, KAMEHAMEHA-HAWAI'I 1
Sarah Fitzherbert scattered five hits over seven innings and went 4 for 4, and Erika Segura drove in three runs to propel the Mustangs.
KS-HAWAI'I (6-7) 000 100 0—1 5 7
KALĀHEO (12-4) 225 000 X—9 7 2
Kiani Wong and Kaala Wong. Sarah Fitzherbert and Tiffany Harada. W — Fitzherbert. L — Ki. Wong.
Leading hitters — Kamehameha-Hawai'i: none. Kalāheo: Fitzherbert 4-4, doubles, 2 runs; Amanday Pavey double, RBI; Erika Segura triple, 3 RBIs.
PAC-FIVE 5, 'AIEA 2
Sheridan Mahelona allowed two runs and seven hits and also went 2 for 3 with a double and RBI to lead the Wolfpack over Nā Ali'i.
'AIEA (6-9) 000 002 0—2 7 2
PAC-FIVE (5-10) 010 220 X— 5 6 2
Joe-Ann Lindsey-Rapoza, Kacie Takeuchi (6) and Ashlei Liilii. Sheridan Mahelona and Cassandra Koja. W — Mahelona. L — Lindsey-Rapoza.
Leading hitter — Pac-Five: Mahelona 2-3, double, 2 runs, 2 RBIs.