Pac-Five captures state Division II softball championship
By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
Pac-Five pitcher Sheridan Mahelona missed her high school graduation today, but didn't miss out on helping the Wolfpack win their third state softball title in five years.
Mahelona tossed a six-hitter and Aja Keyes drove in three runs as Pac-Five held off Waimea, 5-4, in the final of the DataHouse Softball State Division II Championships at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Pac-Five led 5-0, but Waimea scored four over the final two innings.
Mahelona, a right-hander, walked two and struck out four. She decided to forgo her graduation ceremony at University High and pitch in the state title game. The game started at 5 p.m.; the graduation at 5:30 p.m.
Mahelona picked up victories over 'Aiea, No. 4 seed Konaweana, No. 1 Kalani and No. 2 Waimea in the tournament for Pac-Five, which also won state titles in 2006 and 2008.
Mahelona was the winning pitcher in the 2008 title game, a 4-2 triumph over Kaua'i. That year, Pac-Five ran into a similar situation where the championship game and University High's graduation were held on the same day. Two Wolfpack players, including their ace, attended the graduation, so Mahelona got the start.
During pregame introductions yesterday, Pac-Five coach Cecil Hasegawa held up an orange No. 13 jersey in honor of second baseman Shannon Lee, who attended her graduation ceremony at UHS.
Pac-Five, the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion, is a combined team with five players from University High, three each from Hawai'i Baptist and Lutheran, and one each from ASSETS, St. Andrew's and Word of Life.
Pac-Five's Quirena Natividad led off the game against Waimea, , the Kaua'i Interscholatic Federation champion, with a triple over the right fielder's head. After a groundout, Keyes' line single to center gave the Wolfpack a 1-0 lead.
The Wolfpack added three in the third. Natividad drew a lead-off walk, and Samantha Ford just beat out a bunt to the pitcher for a base hit. On the play, Natividad kept going and beat the throw to third with Ford pulling into second. Keyes lined a two-run single to left and reached third on an errant throw home by the left fielder. Mahelona put down a squeeze bunt to the pitcher to score Keyes and make it 4-0 Wolfpack. The throw from the pitcher went past the catcher, and Mahelona was thrown out at second for the first out of the inning.
Pac-Five (8-11) made it 5-0 in the sixth on Natividad's sacrifice fly to center, which scored Alena Hookano.
Mahelona allowed all three runs against Waimea (12-3) over the final two innings.
In the sixth, she hit the first two batters, walked another and threw a wild pitch. Davelynn Tafiti had an RBI double down the left-field line to score Krysta Kali, and Taylor Ephan came in on the wild pitch to cut the Menehunes' deficit to 5-2.
Mahelona retired the first two batters in the seventh before the Menehunes rallied. Ephan had an RBI double and Tanisha DeFabian had a run-scoring single to make it 5-4. Waimea had two runners in scoring position before Mahelona got the Menehunes' No. 6 hitter to line out to left fielder Kylee Yamamoto for the final out.