Lunas beat Warriors to clinch state softball berth
KAHULUI – The stage is set.
The Lahainaluna High School softball team beat Kamehameha Maui 11-4 on Thursday night in the semifinals of the Maui Interscholastic League Division I tournament at Patsy Mink Field to set up a crucial fourth meeting with Baldwin tonight at 7.
The Lunas (11-2) wrapped up a state tournament berth with the victory, but were sloppy in the field. They committed six errors, but pounded out nine hits to support a four-hitter by Hope Morikawa.
“We just have got to go fix those errors over there that we had this game, again,” Lahainaluna coach Lei Nakamura said.
The Lunas had two costly errors in one inning in the completion of a suspended game with Baldwin on Monday at Lahaiunaluna Field that gave the Bears the MIL regular-season title.
“I’m not looking forward to (facing Baldwin) for a redemption kind of thing,” Nakamura said. “I’m looking forward to it for an opportunity to play another good game.”
Tonight’s tournament final will pit the two teams who will represent the MIL in the D-I state tournament next month. It is the fourth game of what is basically a best-of-five series between the two.
A Baldwin win tonight clinches the Bears’ first MIL softball pennant since 2010. A Lahainaluna win forces a winner-take-all playoff game Monday at 7 p.m. for the MIL D-I overall title.
The Lunas were in command all night against the Warriors, scoring in each of their six innings.
Jessica Wallace, a senior catcher headed to Pacific Lutheran University in the fall, smacked a two-run double in the first and an RBI double in the fourth to make it 7-0.
Four different Lunas had two hits apiece.
“I was feeling comfortable,” Wallace said. “It is good that we are in the state tournament, but we have to still take it one game at a time.”
Rhyn Lendio was 2-for-5 with three RBIs, Morikawa was 2-for-4 with a double and Kaua Arcangel was 2-for-4 with an RBI double for Lahainaluna. The Lunas’ other hit was an RBI triple by Haley Nakamura, which made it 9-3 in the fifth.
“I’m glad that our bats came alive a little bit,” Lei Nakamura said. “But it is our defense that is going to keep the other team at bay, so when that goes away, the strategy of the game or the momentum of the game doesn’t stay on our side, so now we have got to make some adjustments.”
Kamehameha Maui’s season ended at 4-9, but the Warriors lose only senior catcher Kalei Kubota. Trailing 7-0, the Warriors scored three times in the top of the fifth and added their final run in the sixth.
“The Lunas are a great, well-coached ball club, very tough,” Warriors coach Angus Peters said. “We made some errors and we didn’t execute some plays, but I couldn’t be more proud of a bunch of girls because they fought back very hard to the end, they supported each other. To me, it was a great game for us.”
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com
KS Maui ………000 …. 031….0-4….4… 4
Tiana Sakumoto and Kalei Kubota; Hope Morikawa and Jessica Wallace. W-Morikawa. L-Sakumoto. 2B-Lahainaluna: Wallace 2, Morikawa, Kaua Arcangel. 3B-Lahainaluna: Haley Nakamura.
Leading hitters-Lahainaluna: Morikawa 2-4; Arcangel 2-4, RBI; Wallace 2-4, 3 RBIs; Rhyn Lendio 2-5, 3 RBIs.
* BALDWIN 6, KING KEKAULIKE 0: At Patsy Mink Field, the top-seeded Bears (11-2) advanced to the D-I tournament final behind a three-hitter from Sanae Nakoa, who struck out three and walked none.
Skylynn Ellazar led Baldwin at the plate with two hits and two RBIs.
Karlee Rose Perry pitched an eight-hitter for Na Alii (5-9).
BALDWIN 6, KING KEKAULIKE 0
King Kekaulike …..000 ….000….0-0 … 3… 3
Baldwin …………….020 ….400….x-6……8…2
Karlee Rose Perry and Kaitlin Perry; Sanae Nakoa and Sarah Abe. W-Nakoa. L-K.R. Perry.
Leading hitters-Baldwin: Skylynn Ellazar 2-4, 2 RBIs.
* MOLOKAI 18, ST. ANTHONY 1, 4 INNINGS: At Patsy Mink Field, the Farmers (5-3) wrapped up the MIL D-II regular-season title and a state tournament berth with the victory in a makeup game.
Molokai’s Amanda Venegas-Makaiwi relieved Kiona English after one batter and finished a no-hitter with four strikeouts and no walks.
Venegas-Makaiwi also had two doubles and four RBIs for the Farmers, who play Lanai in the semifinals of the MIL D-II tournament today at 2:30.
The Trojans fell to 2-6.
* LANAI 10, ST. ANTHONY 9: At Patsy Mink Field, Katie Sarme was 3-for-3 with three runs and Nalani Plunkett smacked a solo home run for the Pine Lasses (5-4) in a D-II tournament game.
Jessie Del Rosario, Kaycie Kaopuiki-Galiza and Tiana Bala combined on a two-hitter for Lanai.
Kaitlin Kim and Danae Ah Nee each had doubles for the Trojans (2-7).
Kaitlin Kim, Sloan Becraft (2) and Becraft, Kim (3); Jessie Del Rosario, Kaycie Kaopuiki-Galiza (1), Tiana Bala (3) and Megan Amby. W-Kaopuiki-Galiza. L-Kim. 2B-St. Anthony: Kim, Danae Ah Nee; Lanai: Maile Herolaga. HR-Lanai: Nalani Plunkett.
Leading hitters-Lanai: Katie Sarme 3-3, 3 runs; Plunkett 2-4, run, RBI.