Chad Obara considers this year’s Pearl City softball team one of the most focused clubs he’s coached.
So the Chargers weren’t fazed by a quick turnaround or an early deficit on Thursday. Nor were they distracted by the opportunities ahead after defeating third-seeded Lahainaluna 6-1 in the quarterfinals of the DataHouse/HHSAA Division I Softball Championships.
“That’s how we’ve been taking the whole season,” Obara said. “Staying in the moment and concentrating on what’s at hand.”
The Chargers arrived at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium at about 10 a.m. Thursday, about 12 hours after closing out a first-round win over Kapolei on Wednesday night.
They fell behind in the bottom of the first when Lahainaluna sophomore Nohili Hong sent Tyanna “Peanut Butter” Kaaialii’s eighth pitch of the day out to left-center to give the Lunas a 1-0 lead.
Kaailaii allowed just three more hits the rest of the way and the Pearl City offense pounded out a six-run fourth inning to send the Chargers into the state semifinals for the second straight year.
“I think it’s a little bit hard to stay focused sometimes,” Kaaialii said. “Naturally as a 17-year-old woman we tend to think about 30,000 things at one time. It may be hard but we have to come through and if we want that championship we have to make sure we stay focused.”
After throwing 93 pitches against Kapolei on Wednesday, Kaaialii said she iced for double her normal time that night in advance to Thursday’s noon start. She recovered after the early home run and struck out seven and walked two while throwing 112 pitches in her second win of the tournament.
“We were struggling trying to find stuff she could throw accurately,” Obara said. “It was kind of a struggle today but we figured out a way to get it done.”
Obara said the Chargers’ collective knack to “figure out a way” has been a theme for the Chargers throughout the season and they’ll try to find their way to the state final Friday’s 4:30 p.m. semifinal game.
“This game is over now we’re focused on the next game … whether it’s Maryknoll or Campbell,” said Charger shortstop Darian Obara, who sparked Pearl City’s fourth-inning outburst with her second double of the game.
At Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
Pearl City (12-3) 000 600 0 — 6 10 3
Lahainaluna (12-3) 100 000 0 — 1 4 0
Tyanna Kaaialii and Hailey-Alexis Yamaguchi. Taylor Asio and Braylee Tovio-Asato. W—Kaaialii. L—Asio.
Leading hitters—Pearl City: Darian Obara, 2-2, 2 2B, RBI; Yamaguchi, 2-3, 2 RBIs; Noel Saunders, 2-4; Bryanna Passi, RBI; Taylor Shigeta, 2B, 2 RBIs. Lahainaluna: Nohili Hong, HR; Ka’aina Kalanikau, 2B.