Bears down Warriors, win MIL regular-season crown

Baldwin headed to first state tourney since ’15

Saree-Ann Kekahuna of Baldwin High School follows through on a sacrifice fly during the third inning of the Bears’ 11-1, five-inning win over Kamehameha Maui on Wednesday at Patsy Mink Field. • The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

KAHULUI — Saree-Ann Keka­huna has never been to the softball state tournament.

Next month, that will change.

The Baldwin High School softball team clinched its first state berth since winning the 2015 Maui Interscholastic League championship with an 11-1, five-inning win over Kamehameha Maui on Wednesday at Patsy Mink Field.

“Well, I feel great because we worked toward this goal,” Kekahuna said after the junior catcher and her Bears teammates ran their record to 10-0. “This is one step towards our goal — now that second step is bringing that trophy home, so I feel we’re doing great.”

Baldwin can wrap up the MIL crown by winning the league tournament or a championship playoff game against the MIL tournament winner.

Baldwin’s Avei Silifaiva scores a third-inning run Wednesday. • The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

“It’s really big,” said Baldwin coach Sanoe Kekahuna, Saree-Ann’s older sister. “We’ve been somewhat the underdogs the last couple of years as far as players and stuff, but we’ve worked hard.”

Baldwin took control against the Warriors (6-4) in the first inning.

Kamehameha Maui tallied its run in the top of the first when Jerriah Solomon doubled to lead off and scored on an error.

Baldwin struck for seven runs in the bottom of the first by taking advantage of four walks, three hit batters and eight wild pitches.

Aliya Harmon pitched a four-hitter with seven strikeotus and two walks. She was also 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and a run scored.

Baldwin pitcher Aliya Harmon delivers in the third inning Wednesday. • The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Kamehameha Maui is clinging to second place with two games to play — the young Warriors have just two seniors on the roster.

“All the way around, they’re complete,” Kamehameha coach Mark Vaught said of the Bears. “Offensively, defensively they’re a very complete team.”

He likes the way his team is playing as the MIL tournament nears.

“I think our chances are as good as anyone else’s,” Vaught said. “We’re a young team, but we’re ready to play. We’ve come out this season with a different level of confidence. We’ll get back to work, we’ll continue working hard, the girls are really doing well and responding well.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com

KS Maui ….. 100 … 00-1… 4 … 2

Baldwin …… 711 … 2x-11… 4 … 2

Melia Kama and Kanoe Kahahane; Aliya Harmon and Saree-Ann Kekahuna. W-Harmon. L-Kama. 2B-Kamehameha Maui: Jerriah Solomon; Baldwin: Harmon.

Leading hitters-Baldwin: Harmon 2-4, run.

*****

MIL Standings

Division I

W L Pct. GB

x-Baldwin 10 0 1.000 —

Kamehameha Maui 6 4 .600 4

Lahainaluna 4 5 .444 5-1⁄2

King Kekaulike 2 7 .222 7-1⁄2

Maui High 2 8 .200 8

Division II

W L Pct. GB

x-Molokai 7 0 1.000 —

Lanai 1 3 .333 3-1⁄2

Hana 0 5 .000 5-1⁄2

x-clinched regular-season championship

Wednesday’s Results

Baldwin 11, Kamehameha Maui 1, 5 innings

Lahainaluna 14, King Kekaulike 4, 5 innings

Friday’s Games

Hana at Lanai, 4 p.m.

Kamehameha Maui vs. Lahainaluna at Maui High, 6 p.m.

Saturday’s Games

King Kekaulike at Maui High, 10 a.m.

Hana at Lanai, 10 a.m.

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