Two teams — Campbell and Mililani — have won five of the last eight Division I softball state tournaments, so one can bet that a lot is riding on Saturday’s game at the McKinley field.
Both teams are 3-1 in the Oahu Interscholastic Association West and in a tight race with Pearl City (4-0) and Leilehua (3-2).
The Trojans are coming off a convincing 7-1 home win over Kapolei on Thursday and will get an idea of where they stack up against the two-time defending Division I state champion Sabers. A year ago, Campbell upended Mililani 5-2 in the state semifinals.
So far, Trojans pitcher Misha Carreira has done admirably, filling in for graduated four-year standout Aubree Kim. Two veterans — first baseman Merilas Rivera and second baseman Maya Yoshiura — are among the players carrying big sticks for Mililani, which wants to add to state championships it won in 2005, 2009 and 2014.
Three days after the showdown with Campbell, the Trojans play first-place Pearl City, and they’ll also play those two rivals and Leilehua (which beat Mililani 6-4 on March 10) one more time later in the regular season.
Two contending West teams — Kapolei and Nanakuli — can’t be counted out, either. Both teams are 1-3, but have been highly competitive. The other team in the division, Waianae, has losses of 6-0 and 7-0, but the Seariders also took the Golden Hawks to 11 innings and were edged by powerful Campbell 7-4.
That’s how close the competition is in the division.
“Everybody in the West is good,” Trojans head coach Rose Antonio said after Thursday’s win. “It’s very competitive, so this was a good win for us. (Kapolei) is a very good team, with Sadie (Kapaku-You), who is a good all-state pitcher.
“Campbell has an all-state pitcher (Dani Cervantes) and catcher (Jocelyn Alo) and some other good, athletic players. Pearl City has everyone returning. It’s going to be tough.”
Four of the seven OIA West teams are in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Top 10 — No. 1 Campbell, No. 2 Pearl City, No. 5 Mililani and No. 8 Leilehua.
Ten of the 15 OIA West games played so far have been by three runs or less or have gone to extra innings.
OIA WEST SOFTBALL
Close games so far
>> Mililani 5, Nanakuli 4
>> Campbell 5, Leilehua 2
>> Pearl City 5, Leilehua 4 (9 innings)
>> Kapolei 7, Nanakuli 6
>> Leilehua 6, Mililani 4
>> Pearl City 9, Kapolei 3 (8 innings)
>> Campbell 7, Waianae 4
>> Pearl City 2, Campbell 1
>> Nanakuli 7, Waianae 6 (11 innings)
>> Leilehua 3, Kapolei 1
Last eight state champions
>> 2016: Campbell
>> 2015: Campbell
>> 2014: Mililani
>> 2013: Punahou
>> 2012: Mid-Pacific
>> 2011: Mid-Pacific
>> 2010: Campbell
>> 2009: Mililani