Alesia Ranches was unstoppable on Saturday for Campbell, making her presence known at the plate and in center field during a 5-2 victory over Pearl City.
Ranches, who admits she was going through bit of a slump heading in to the game, returned to form in a big way. The junior went 4-for-4 with a double, two runs and an RBI in addition to stellar outfield play.
The win for Campbell breaks a streak of consecutive losses to Kapolei and Waianae, and puts the Sabers (6-3) just a half game back of the Hurricanes for first place in the OIA West.
“I was doing bad earlier and I just had to somehow pick myself up,” Ranches said. “From the last games, we started flipping the switch to get that winning momentum going into the playoffs and the end of the season.”
Campbell cleanup hitter Chloe Domingo’s single in the first inning brought home Ranches to give the Sabers a 1-0 lead in the first inning. The Chargers (5-4) tied the game in the second inning when Braelynn Kaulu-Choy Foo stole home on a wild pitch.
Ranches gave Campbell the lead for good in the third inning after her second hit of the day drove in Caisha Nunes. In the next at-bat, Trinity Favela scored on a sacrifice fly by Anastasia Iosia.
After having done some damage with her bat, Ranches took over with her glove.
With one out in the bottom of the third, Ranches made a full-extension diving catch to rob Alexas Presto-Ahsing of extra bases. Every other fly ball hit to Ranches was met with an audible groan from the Pearl City crowd as she finished with four putouts and no errors.
The Chargers cut the Campbell lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth after Tiari Hernandez’s one-out single scored Cheyne Obara from second. However, Ranches’ throw to third on the same play nabbed Micalynn Nacnac and Campbell starter Chloe Sales got Presto-Ahsing to fly out in the next at-bat to end the threat.
Campbell added two insurance runs in the seventh inning after a solo home run to center from Favela. Ranches followed with a double, and was driven in my Iosia, who singled in the next at-bat.
Afterward, Campbell coach Michael Hermosura spoke highly of Ranches and her versatility defensively.
“She’s a big, big, big plus. She’s only a junior. Normally, she should be at shortstop but I have to have somebody out there. She’s a go-to girl,” he said. “She practices a lot at shortstop and she’ll probably be my shortstop next year. She’s a great athlete. Lots of speed, a lot of knowledge about the game. Struggling a little bit but she’ll come around.”