Hana loses 11-4 in state D-II softball
KAHULUI – Hana High School’s stay in the championship bracket of the DataHouse Division II state softball tournament lasted one night.
In the first state softball tournament played on Maui in 32 years, the Maui Interscholastic League runner-up fell 11-4 to Kohala at Patsy Mink Field on Tuesday.
“I don’t know, I think too much pressure,” Hana coach Louis Hoopai said after the Dragons committed eight errors. “Our defense, that killed us tonight, I think.”
The Dragons (5-6) fall into a consolation game at 11 a.m. Thursday against McKinley, which lost to Kauai 16-5 on Tuesday.
The Cowgirls (8-10), the third-place team from the Big Island Interscholastic Federation, won a championship-round game for the first time in the state tournament. They will play No. 2-seeded Nanakuli at 5 p.m. today.
MIL champion Molokai, the No. 4 seed, will play St. Francis at 7. The Saints beat Kaiser 9-4 on Thursday.
“Very pleased, we hit the ball good tonight and that’s what you have got to do to win in this game, yeah,” Kohala coach Terrence Alcoran said. “We just hit it well. A few errors, but we played very, very well today.”
Hana took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Jaynalee Hoopai led off with a walk, was balked to second, took third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Brittany Smith. One out later, Pakalani Helekahi doubled to left and scored on an error.
Things went downhill quickly after that for the Dragons, who had a strong contingent of about 100 fans who made the trip from East Maui.
In the top of the second, the Cowgirls scored six runs on three hits, the first three Hana errors, three walks and a hit batsman. The big blow in the frame came from Sheana Cazimero, who had a two-run single.
“We were able to take advantage of the errors, but we had to because we gave up a lot of runs, too,” Alcoran said. “My team is young, they make some boo-boos, but I give them a lot of credit, they did very well tonight and I am proud of them.”
The Cowgirls have just two seniors and one junior on the roster. They were impressed with Patsy Mink Field.
“Beautiful, everything is well manicured, I mean I like it,” Alcoran said. “It is smooth, the lights are good. Everything is good and it worked out for us. Hopefully, tomorrow we can do it again.”
For the Dragons, it was a 2 1/2-hour bus ride back to Hana and school today.
“Practice tomorrow,” Hoopai said. “Go home, go to school, practice tomorrow.”
Hoopai said his team was proud to represent the MIL this year in the first state softball tournament on Maui since 1981.
“I felt honored,” Hoopai said. “We wanted to represent for Maui and for Hana fans. We had a lot of support tonight. Good turnout for us.”
The top three batters in the Kohala lineup – Sheana Cazimero Ashlyn Van Zandt and Tiani Luga – combined for six of the Cowgirls’ 10 hits. Cazimero scored twice and had a pair of RBIs, Van Zandt scored twice and knocked in one, Luga scored twice and had one RBI.
Seven Kohala players had a hit and Luga went seven innings on the mound after relieving Van Zandt after one batter in the first. Luga allowed seven hits and two earned runs, striking out four and walking one.
Helekahi was 3-for-4 with a double and a run for Hana.
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashlyn Van Zandt, Tiani Luga (1) and Tomiko Coito; Jaynalee Hoopai and Breeze Kalalau. W-Luga. L-Hoopai. 2B-Kohala: Ryah Perez; Hana: Pakalana Helekahi.
Leading hitters-Kohala: Sheana Cazimero 2-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Luga 3-5, 2 runs, RBI. Hana: Helekahi 3-4, run.