The Maui News 2018 MIL Softball All-Stars

Tanoue-Kekona, Horner honored

Molokai High School’s Cami Horner (in photo) helped lead the Farmers to their second straight MIL Division II title, while Baldwin’s Sasha Tanoue-Kekona (second photo) helped the Bears to an MIL runner-up finish in D-I and a berth to the state tournament for the first time since 2015. The Maui News / CHRIS SUGIDONO photo

Sasha Tanoue-Kekona’s career with the Baldwin High School softball team traveled full circle, from champion, to also-ran, to contender.

Cami Horner’s career with Molokai softball is not done yet.

The senior outfielder for the Bears and the junior catcher for the Farmers were both key cogs in leading their teams through the Maui Interscholastic League season.

Molokai won its second straight MIL Division II pennant, while Baldwin returned to the D-I state tournament for the first time since 2015, as the MIL runner-up.

Tanoue-Kekona and Horner are the choice of the coaches as The Maui News MIL Players of the Year for their respective divisions.

Baldwin’s Sasha Tanoue-Kekona. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

“I did not expect that at all, very unexpected,” said Tanoue-Kekona, who is set to continue her career at Corban University in Salem, Ore., in the fall, which will come after a summer playing for the Oregon Titans travel team. “My time at Baldwin, it went by quick.”

The Baldwin softball team bolted out to a 13-0 record in the MIL before losing the crown to Lahainaluna with back-to-back nailbiting losses in the league tournament final and overall championship game.

Still, the Bears were back in the state tournament for the first time since they won the MIL title and finished sixth at state in 2015 when Tanoue-Kekona was a freshman. Their stay at the 2018 state tournament lasted just two games, both losses.

“We had a pretty good season, but kind of fell short,” Tanoue-Kekona said. “It’s just a privilege. It was definitely an accomplishment this year. To get there was one of our goals. … All of this wouldn’t have been possible without God.”

Tanoue-Kekona is joined on the MIL D-I first team by Baldwin teammates Aliya Harmon (pitcher), Saree-Ann Kekahuna (catcher), Jessica Ai (first base) and Sammy Martinez (utility/DP); Lahainaluna’s Seraya Casco (pitcher), Liliola Vehikite (second base), Kaaina Kalanikau (third base), Nohili Hong (shortstop), Daisha Dagdag (outfield) and Ocean Makekau (outfield); and Kamehameha Maui’s Jerriah Solomon (utility/DP).

Horner is joined on the D-II first team by her twin Cahlvrie Horner (utility/DP) and fellow Farmers Tehani Yamamoto (pitcher), Tallan Garces (first base), Sydney Rawlins (third base), Camille Ledesma (shortstop) and Kianne DeMello-Galam (outfield); Lanai’s Leah Vidad (pitcher), Jasmine Molina (second base), Raquel Malacas-Leboeuf (outfield) and Adrianna Sanchez (utility/DP); and Hana’s Shya Roback (utility/DP).

Horner is the second straight MIL D-II Player of the Year for the Farmers, following Brooke Keliihoomalu.

“It feels great and it’s exciting,” Horner said. “There were a lot of girls who could have had this position. … I’m really honored to have been named this season’s Player of the Year.”

The MIL coaches of the year are Kawehi Horner of Molokai and Lei Nakamura of Lahainaluna.

The Farmers baseball team also won the MIL D-II pennant–the two diamond teams are quite close.

“Coming from a small island, it means a lot,” Cami Horner said. “We’re not only representing our school, but we’re also representing the people who come from this island–it’s just an honor playing for our school and being able to represent them well.”

Cami Horner smiled when asked about playing with her twin.

“I would say it’s amazing,” she said. “We have our times when we can bump heads to each other, but when we are on the same page and on the right track, it feels great. It feels just powerful.”

Playing for dad as coach also has some challenges.

“Sometimes it’s tough, but other than that it’s really great, it’s really awesome having him as my coach,” Cami Horner said. “I mean sometimes it’s hard to flip hats, but either way we make it work.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

Division I Second Team

Cierra Ohashi, Maui High, Pitcher, Freshman

Sadie Sakamoto, King Kekaulike, Pitcher, Senior

Briann Keohuloa, Lahainaluna, Catcher, Freshman

Mia Gerbig, Lahainaluna, First base, Senior

Erin Prieto, Maui High, Second base, Junior

Bryana Yoshida, Baldwin, Third base, Junior

Avei Silifaiva, Baldwin, Shortstop, Sophomore

Kaycee Arase, Maui High, Outfield, Senior

Alyssa Ferreira, Baldwin, Outfield, Sophomore

Tori Honokaupu, Maui High, Outfield, Freshman

Kylenna Rieta, Maui High, Utility/DP, Sophomore

Nicole Nakanishi, Maui High, Utility/DP, Senior

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