For Campbell, now one game behind the OIA West’s frontrunners at 8-3, it has been a week of torment. Five days earlier, the Sabers lost at home to Pearl City, 1-0, on an infield error during a Chargers steal attempt. That put a slight damper on senior day. This time, it was a laser throw from right field that denied them their best chance to push the game into extra innings.
Campbell coach Michael “Shag” Hermosura has been tinkering in every way possible to generate more offense. Moving slugger Jocelyn Alo to the leadoff spot was intriguing. In the past two games, she has walked in every plate appearance — eight bases on balls — without taking a single strike. The strategy by Pearl City, then Mililani, worked well until the top of the fifth inning on Thursday, when the Sabers scored two runs, and two more in the sixth.
Until they ended the scoring drought — 11 innings in all — the No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 hitters in Campbell’s lineup had combined to go 3-for-21. The risk of walking Alo, who has good speed, was outweighed by the numbers. From the fifth inning on against Mililani, Campbell’s 2-through-5 batters were 2-for-6 with two walks. With the lower half of the lineup producing — 6 through 10 were 4-for-11 for the game — and Alo giving her team a 1.000 on-base percentage, it’s all the Sabers needed. Just to get a timely hit or a smart walk now and then.
And yet, at least this time, it wasn’t quite enough. Alo, who also batted leadoff at Kahuku before transferring a few years ago, hasn’t lost her optimism.
“It’s a little frustrating. Whatever helps my team, I’m doing it,” the catcher said. “Everyone’s doing what they’re supposed to do.”