St. Francis completes D-II title quest

St. Francis celebrates after a 10-0 victory against Kamehameha-Hawaii in the HHSAA Division II championship softball game on Friday at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser

St. Francis junior Kailee Mahelona was in no rush to leave Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium after the Saints’ 10-0 victory over Kamehameha-Hawaii in the Division II final of the DataHouse/HHSAA Softball Championship on Friday.

She didn’t have a choice really.

While Mahelona celebrated the Saints’ second state title and first since 2005, her father, David, was preparing for the Division I final as Punahou’s pitching coach.

“I have to (stay),” Kailee said after the Saints’ postgame meeting. “That’s my ride home.”

On a night of dual title games for the Mahelona family, Kailee sparked St. Francis with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning and the Saints rolled to the title a year after falling to Aiea 4-3 in the final.

“We remember that feeling we had when we lost last year and realized we didn’t want to have that feeling again and worked twice as hard each and every practice we had,” the Saints’ junior left-fielder/pitcher said.

The Saints needed a four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh against Konawaena on Thursday to advance with an 8-7 win. They appeared in danger of falling behind against on Friday when Kamehameha-Hawaii loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first.

But junior Sierrah Kupihea, who gave up three runs in the first inning against Konawaena, this time got a strikeout and a flyout to left to snuff the threat.

“Huge momentum,” St. Francis coach Randy Langsi said. “Like (Thursday), almost the same situation with Konawaena. … It could have been the same situation, you give the other team confidence. But it can be just the opposite if you get those outs.”

After Kupihea put the first zero on the scoreboard, Mahelona promptly placed a crooked number in the lower frame with her two-run homer with one out.

“I just remembered ‘through contact and finish,’” Mahelona said. “I missed the pitch before that and I took a breath and was like ‘OK I got this,’ and I saw the inside pitch and drove it.”

Two more runs scored on Joelle Perreira’s single and Kaitlyn Kalani, the Saints’ ninth-place hitter, capped the six-run outburst with an RBI single.

Saints senior Skye Ah Yat added a two-run single in the second and Mahelona drove in her third run with a single in the third.

Kupihea, who took the loss in last year’s final, retired 11 straight before giving up a walk to lead off the top of the fifth. She mixed speeds and got 10 of her final 13 outs on flyouts or popups to complete a two-hit shutout.

“I always kept it in the back of my mind,” Kupihea said of last year’s season-ending loss. “Keeping it was reminder so I could push myself to become better.”

Despite the outcome, there were few tears in the Kamehameha-Hawaii dugout immediately after the game. As the Saints celebrated in the middle of the diamond, the Warriors gathered for a final cheer.

“Our goal was to make it to thi game,” KS-Hawaii coach ’Akeamakamae Kiyuna said. “At the beginning when we were warming up, the girls they know it’s an important game, but they were adding extra pressure onto themselves. I told them no matter what happens today, they play hard, they have fun.

“Win or lose they leave it all on the field and they should still be able to cheer and be happy and laugh afterwards. It’s not the results we wanted but we played an awesome team. Our pitchers hit their spots, but St. Francis did their job and they got some nice hits. I’m glad that we got to play them at this level.”

KS-Hawaii left fielder Jessica Cameros, one of just two seniors on the Warriors roster, turned in one of the defensive highlights of the evening when she reached over the fence to rob Sammie Ofoia of a home run in the bottom of the third.

Division II

Game #DateMatchupTime/ScoresSite
1May 8St. Francis vs. KohalaStF, 10-0 (5)McKinley
2May 8Aiea vs. KonawaenaKona, 7-3McKinley
3May 8Honokaa vs. KaimukiHon, 11-8McKinley
4May 8Waimea vs. WaialuaWaim, 15-5 (6)McKinley
5*May 9Kohala vs. AieaKoh, 9-1McKinley
6May 9(4) Molokai vs. St. FrancisStF, 13-1 (5)McKinley
7May 9(2) KS-Hawaii vs. HonokaaKSH, 11-1 (6)McKinley
8May 9(3) Kalani vs. WaimeaKaln, 6-3McKinley
9May 9(1) Kapaa vs. KonawaenaKona, 9-4McKinley
10*May 10Kaimuki vs. WaialuaWail, 6-5McKinley
11*May 10Honokaa vs. WaimeaWaim, 5-3 (5)McKinley
12*May 10Molokai vs. KapaaKapaa, 11-2 (5)McKinley
13May 10KS-Hawaii vs. KalaniKSH, 8-7Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
14May 10St. Francis vs. KonawaenaStF, 8-7Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
15*May 11Kohala vs. WaialuaKoh, 11-4 (5)Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
16*May 11Waimea vs. KapaaWaim, 10-9 (3)Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
17*May 11Kalani vs. KonawaenaKaln, 5-4McKinley
18May 11KS-Hawaii vs. St. FrancisStF, 10-0 (5)Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
* — consolation

COMMENTS

  1. ILH May 17, 2018 10:06 am

    Cant wait to see them in the D1 next year!!


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