Sabers keep season alive with win over Bears

Maui High School’s Erin Prieto slides into third base in the second inning as Baldwin’s Bryana Yoshida awaits the throw. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Maui High School’s Erin Prieto slides into third base in the second inning as Baldwin’s Bryana Yoshida awaits the throw. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

KAHULUI — The shortening of a game meant the extension of Maui High School’s season.

The Sabers defeated Baldwin 3-2 on Thursday night in a Maui Interscholastic League Division I softball tournament semifinal shortened to five innings because of rain at Patsy Mink Field.

The result puts the third-seeded Sabers (9-4) into the tournament final today against regular-season champion Lahainaluna.

Another victory for Maui High would force a rematch with the Lunas on Tuesday for the overall title. A win for Lahainaluna means the Sabers and Bears (8-5) will play for second place.

Cira Bartolotti pitched a three-hitter for Maui High and hit a solo homer for the decisive run in the fourth inning — the Sabers trailed 2-0 after the first.

Cira Bartolotti of Maui High School pitches during the second inning Thursday. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Cira Bartolotti of Maui High School pitches during the second inning Thursday. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

“We knew that it was going to be a good game and we just had to play our hardest,” Bartolotti said.

Bartolotti escaped a jam in the third — with runners on second and third, she got a groundout from Alyssa Ferreira and struck out Mikayla Tsutsui.

“In situations like that, I just try to relax and breathe and focus on the batter,” Bartolotti said.

Erin Prieto tripled and scored for Maui High in the second inning, and Kaimi Fuentes tied the game in the third when she stole third base with two outs and came home on an error on the play.

“The whole week of practice, we were instilling in them that this is it — we have to get past Baldwin,” said Maui High coach Mark Lau Hee.

Baldwin’s Mikayla Tsutsui follows through on a two-run, first-inning double Thursday. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Baldwin’s Mikayla Tsutsui follows through on a two-run, first-inning double Thursday. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

In the first inning, Baldwin’s Aliya Harmon walked after fouling off five two-strike pitches and eventually scored, along with Saree-Ann Kekahuna, on Tsutsui’s two-out double.

The Bears are hoping to return to the state tournament after failing to qualify last year for the first time since 1998.

“We can’t do nothing about the weather,” said Baldwin coach Sanoe Kekahuna.

“I teach my girls, there are certain things in life that you can control. The things you can’t, just let it roll.”

For all of today’s MIL tournament games, in D-I and D-II, attendees with military identification will be admitted for free.

Kaimi Fuentes of Maui High scores in the third inning. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Kaimi Fuentes of Maui High scores in the third inning. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

* Brad Sherman is at sports@mauinews.com.

Maui High 011 10–3 7 1

Baldwin 200 00–2 3 1

Cira Bartolotti and Makana Nakanishi. Aliya Harmon and Saree-Ann Kekahuna. W–Bartolotti. L–Harmon. HR–Maui High, Bartolotti. 3B–Maui High, Erin Prieto. 2B–Maui High, Kyleinna Rieta. Baldwin, Kekahuna, Mikayla Tsutsui.

Leading hitters-Maui High, Rieta 2-2.

MIL Softball Tournaments

At Patsy Mink Field

Thursday’s Results

D-I semifinal: Lahainaluna 3, King Kekaulike 0

D-I semifinal: Maui High 3, Baldwin 2, 5 innings (rain)

Today’s Games

D-II semifinal: Molokai vs. Hana, 2 p.m.

D-II semifinal: Lanai vs. Seabury Hall, 4:30 p.m.

D-I final: Lahainaluna vs. Maui High, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s Games

D-II final: Molokai-Hana winner vs. Lanai-Seabury Hall winner, 10 a.m.

D-II overall championship or second-place playoff, if necessary, noon.

Tuesday’s Game

D-I overall championship or second-place game, 5 p.m.

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