Graduation won't stop Pac-Five Campbell in title game
• Photo gallery: HHSAA State Division II Softball Championships
By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
The Pac-Five softball team has graduated to today's title game of the DataHouse Softball State Division II Championships.
The unfortunate news: two Wolfpack players, including ace Sheridan Mahelona, are planning to skip their graduation ceremonies also scheduled for today.
Mahelona, who pitched a complete game in a 6-1 victory over Kalani yesterday, said after the game she would attend University High's graduation ceremony today.
"No, we'll work it out somehow," said Pac-Five coach Cecil Hasegawa when asked if he was concerned about not having Mahelona today.
But after Waimea beat Waialua in the second semifinal at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium, Hasegawa said Mahelona and second baseman Shannon Lee, also a UHS senior, were planning to play in today's title game.
Either way the pair can only attend one: title game starts at 5 p.m.; graduation ceremony at 5:30 p.m.
Oddly enough, Pac-Five ran into a similar situation two years ago. Two Wolfpack players, including their ace, decided to attend their UHS graduation ceremony, which was the same day as the state DII title game.
Mahelona, a sophomore at the time, stepped in and pitched Pac-Five to a 4-2 victory over Kaua'i.
Yesterday against Kalani, Mahelona scattered eight hits with two strikeouts for Pac-Five, the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion.
Pac-Five (7-11) scored three in the fourth and three more in the fifth against Kalani, the O'ahu Interscholastic Association champion and No. 1 seed.
"Very, very proud considering this would probably be the Cinderella team, right? Coming in with a losing record," Hasegawa said. "The way they're playing right now, they're peaking now."
The first six Wolfpack batters reached in the fourth, including four on bunts.
Mahelona led off with a walk, and came around to score when the Falcons made errors on consecutive bunts by Kylee Yamamoto and Sofia Luczak.
"The other team bunted and we didn't come through defensively," said Kalani coach Melissa Marquez. "Offensively, why not keep bunting?"
Alena Hookano made it 2-0 with an RBI single to left, and another run scored when Cassandra Koja bunted to the pitcher and her toss to the plate was just late in an attempt to get Luczak.
The Wolfpack made it 6-0 in the fifth on Luczak's two-run double off the left fielder's glove and Hookano's RBI double, which was trapped by the left fielder.
"I don't look at it as having a lead because they can always come back," said Mahelona, a right-hander who said her curveball and screwball were working. "I still see it as having pressure on me. You still have to pitch the game."
Kalani (14-2) got on the scoreboard in the sixth on Jade Teruya's bad-hop, RBI single past the second baseman.
Pac-Five is a mixed 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 (7-11) 000 330 0—6 7 1
KALANI (14-2) 000 001 0—1 8 4
Sheridan Mahelona and Cassandra Koja. Jade Teruya, Rayme Awaya (6) and Kristi Belshe. W—Mahelona. L—Teruya.
Leading hitters—Pac-Five: Koren Nakamura 2 runs; Sofia Luczak double, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Alena Hookano 2-4, double, 2 RBIs. Kalani: Belshe 2-3, triple.
WAIMEA 13, WAIALUA 3
The squeeze play allowed the Menehunes to crush the Bulldogs in the late innings.
"Everything came from the heart and from home, Kaua'i," said freshman Gaylan Matagiese, who belted a two-run homer to left in the first inning.
Waimea, the Kaua'i Interscholastic Federation champion and No. 2 seed, broke a 3-3 tie with a five-run fifth inning.
The Menehunes had five hits in the inning, including consecutive successful squeeze bunts by Tanisha DeFabian and Davelynn Tafiti. Both were credited with bunt singles.
Waimea (12-2) added four in the sixth to take a 13-3 lead and end the game by mercy rule. DeFabian and Tafiti once again put down successful squeeze bunts. DeFabian reached first on the fielder's choice (no out recorded), while Tafiti was credited with another bunt single.
"We practice a lot on the small game. You cannot hit the ball, you got to try something else," said Waimea coach Teddy Perreira.
Waialua (12-4), the OIA runner-up, scored three in the third on four hits to take a one-run lead.
Michelle Koerte, a junior right-hander, scattered eight hits for Waimea.
WAIALUA (12-4) 003 000— 3 8 5
WAIMEA (12-2) 200 155—13 14 0
Karina Bayudan and Jessica Temblor. Michelle Koerte and Taylor Ephan. W—Koerte. L—Bayudan.
Leading hitters—Waialua: Alyssiah Hernandez 2-3, double; Ciara Balidoy 2-3. Waimea: Mariebeth Watanabe 2-4, 2 runs; Ephan 2-4, double, 2 runs; Gaylan Matagiese 3-4, double, homer, 3 runs, 3 RBIs; Tanisha DeFabian 2-3, double, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Davelynn Tafiti 4-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs.