Warriors outscore Na Alii in league opener
KAHULUI – Madison Vaught sees a wide-open race in Maui Interscholastic League Division I softball.
Vaught smacked four hits in five at-bats and scored four times to lead Kamehameha Schools Maui to a 16-7 win over King Kekaulike in the MIL opener on a rainy Saturday morning at Patsy Mink Field.
“Today we started a little slow, but as we started hitting more, I think more fire came on both ends – we did well together,” said the senior shortstop, who has accepted a scholarship to play at the University of Buffalo. “It is anybody’s game this year because everybody works so hard, everybody has talented players and I am so excited to be playing against them.”
Vaught was a second-team MIL All-Star last season.
“I’m trying to be more of a leader, especially because of all the things we want to accomplish together,” she said. “I try to help them out as much as I can and they back me up, too.”
Kamehameha’s lead was just 9-7 after 3 1/2 innings of Saturday’s slugfest, which had 28 hits and six errors.
The Warriors then pulled away – they scored in every inning, collecting 17 hits, including a two-run double to the left-field wall in the sixth by Kaui Uwekoolani that accounted for the final score.
“I am very happy with that,” Kamehameha coach Angus Peters said of the offense. “We just went to a tournament and our offensive execution wasn’t the greatest, so this is a great thing for us.”
The Warriors have four seniors – Vaught, Kaiu Vila, Uwekoolani and Cheyenne Maio-Silva – and all but one starter back from last season.
“I have got leaders on this team,” said Peters, who feels the race behind defending champion Baldwin could be tight.
“I think Baldwin is on top of everybody, but I think everybody else is pretty even,” he said. “Anybody can beat anybody on any given day. We have state-tournament potential.”
Na Alii, who committed four errors, scored in each of the first four innings before Tiana Sakumoto shut them out in the final three.
“Plenty errors, we have to go back to the drawing board again and try it again,” said King Kekaulike coach Willie Perry, who also anticipates a close race.
“I think this year is going to be pretty tight,” he said. “It is the team that makes too many errors is going to be on the bottom. The pitching and hitting seem pretty even this year. Lahainaluna is pretty good, Maui High is pretty good, Kamehameha is good and Baldwin is tight all the way.”
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org
King Kekaulike ….. 311 ….. 200 ….. 0-07 ….. 11 ….. 4
KS Maui …………… 432 ….. 133 ….. x-16 ….. 17 ….. 2
Kailey Nobriga, Kaohi Kaililaau (3) and Jayme Sim. Tiana Sakumoto and Kaiulani Vila. W-Sakumoto. L-Nobriga. 2B-Kamehameha Maui: Kaui Uwekoolani.
Leading hitters-King Kekaulike: Keolani Falcum 3-5, run; Karlee Peters 2-4, run; Kaitlin Perry 3-4, run; Keeana Popejoy-Kanamu 2-4. Kamehameha Maui: Cheyenne Maio-Silva 2-5, 2 runs; Sakumoto 2-5, 3 runs; Madison Vaught 4-5, 4 runs; Uwekoolani 4-5, 2 runs; Montana Vaught 2-4, 2 runs; Mahie Kama 3-4, run.