Mission accomplished for Manumā, Campbell
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
Campbell senior ace Katie Manumā and her teammates entered last week's DataHouse Division I Softball State Championships with a lot of unfinished business to take care of.
First, they had to erase the disappointment of a third-place showing in the O'ahu Interscholastic Association tournament, and especially a stunning 8-4 loss to Castle in the semifinals.
Going back further, they wanted to bury thoughts of a heartbreaking defeat to OIA rival and eventual champion Mililani in last year's state tourney opening round, a game which Campbell led before errors fueled a seventh-inning Trojans comeback.
For Manumā, there was the personal goal of following in the footsteps of older sisters Valana, Malamaiaua and Anita, who won state championships with Kapolei and St. Francis.
And for all of the Sabers, there was the common goal of winning their school's first softball state title.
By late Saturday night, all four missions were accomplished.
The journey began with Wednesday's 12-0 first-round victory over Roosevelt, in which Manumā tossed a two-hitter with five strikeouts and added a run-scoring double.
The next night, Manumā and the Sabers outlasted No. 2 seed and Interscholastic League of Honolulu champ Mid-Pacific, 6-3, in nine innings. She again allowed only two hits. In Friday's semifinals, Manumā pitched a three-hitter with eight strikeouts to help Campbell overcome four errors and avenge Castle, 3-0.
And in Saturday's title game, Manumā pitched a five-hitter with 10 strikeouts to help the Sabers hold off Punahou, 5-1.
"Katie was just a bulldog," Sabers coach David Perreira said. "That was the best game she pitched all year."
In four tournament games, Manumā pitched 29 innings, allowed only two earned runs (0.62 ERA) and struck out 27 batters against seven walks.
Manumā said although previous heartbreaks were not completely forgotten, the Sabers also did not consume themselves with the past.
"It's time to move on," she said after Friday's win over Castle.
That attitude came into play Saturday, after Punahou took a quick 1-0 first-inning lead when No. 2 batter Mysha Sataraka slammed a home run over the left-field fence.
"When I saw (Manumā) strike out the next batter, I knew she would be all right," Perreira said. "I knew we were good enough to fight back."
Perreira said the historic first championship is meaningful to more than just Manumā and the Sabers.
"It's a big boost to our whole community," said Perreira, a 1995 Campbell graduate. "We're doing a lot of good things at Campbell, and this is one of them."