Campbell has been a unanimous No. 1 in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Top 10 since the season began, and with good reason.
Four first-team All-State players and one second-teamer are among the starters on this year’s club, which is off to a 6-0 start in the Oahu Interscholastic Association West and on a mission to repeat as the Division I state champion.
Senior Elisa Favela, the reigning All-State player of the year who hits for both power and average and is one of the top pitchers in the state, is right there smack-dab in the fourth spot in the order. On the mound, she is not the only one who can bring it for the Sabers. Dani Cervantes, a junior, has an increased role this season, which means Favela can rest her arm more often and concentrate on hitting.
The other All-State first-teamers are shortstop Chardonnay Pantastico, second baseman Cydney Curran and designated player Sierra Mariano. First baseman Caragh Morris is the All-State second-team returnee.
Head coach Michael Hermosura, last season’s coach of the year, continues to tweak the defensive lineup and batting order looking for the best possible setup.
Asked on Tuesday what his lineup would be if he had to fill it out at that moment, here is what he came up with:
1. Chardonnay Pantastico, SS, Sr.
2. Cydney Curran, 2B, Sr.
3. Jocelyn Alo, C, Jr.
4. Elisa Favela, P, Sr.
5. Caragh Morris, 1B, Sr.
6. Sierra Mariano, RF, Sr.
7. Darien Robinson, 3B, Sr.
8. Kiani Telles, LF, Sr.
9. Cienna Curran, CF, Jr.
Favela is the designated hitter when Cervantes pitches. Alo is a transfer from Kahuku, where she was a wrestler.
Among the team’s other big contributors so far are junior right-fielder Nikki Corla, who has been battling injuries, junior outfielder Zoe Streadbeck, and sophomore third baseman Chloe Domingo.
Telles made big strides in a recent game with a 3-for-3 performance and a successful squeeze bunt.
Hermosura, however, says the team has had its ups and downs. In a 7-6 win over Leilehua, the Sabers were tested.
“We came back and came out with the ‘W’ so that was good to see,” Hermosura said. “Leilehua can swing the bat and we had two errors and other mental errors that cost us four runs.”
In a 4-2 win over Kapolei, Campbell was down 2-1 before coming back.
“We are working on peaking at the right time,” the coach said. “For the most part, we’re progressing really good. We’ll be OK as long as their heads are on the ground and not in the sky and relying on what happened last year.”
Hermosura gave quite a list of teams who are among those who have potential to do damage once the states roll around in early May — Mililani, Kapolei, Pearl City and Leilehua from the OIA West, Kaiser from the OIA East, Maryknoll and Kamehameha from the ILH and Lahainaluna, Maui and Baldwin from the Maui Interscholastic League.
“If you don’t bring your A-game, they can kick you around,” he said.
The Sabers, who moved up three spots to No. 17 in the CBS MaxPreps Xcellent 25 rankings Wednesday, return to action Thursday at home against Waianae (1-5).