Hawaii’s hitters had quite a launch party on the first day of the Division I state softball championships at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
There were 13 home runs hit in the four games.
Those 13 dingers trails the record 16 hit by the field in 2016. Last year’s entire tournament had 12 home runs, and there are seven games left in this edition.
The game changed in 2011, when there was an average of 6.59 runs scored and 12 balls left the park. The year before teams scored 3.91 runs per game and only four girls hit home runs. There had never been double-digit home runs in a tournament until 2011 — there have been seven tournaments with as many since.
Leilehua and Kapolei combined for seven home runs by themselves on Wednesday, with Puakea Milbourne and Jacelyn Kepaa leading the way with two each. Jade Behic of Kapolei and Alyssa Auncion and Alyssa Abe of Leilehua all earned leisurely strolls around the bases.
How crazy did it get at Manoa?
Waianae became just the second school in Division I state history to score 10 runs and lose, joining Hilo’s 1992 team when the Vikings lost by the same 11-10 score to Nanakuli. Kapolei became just the fifth school to score nine or more runs and lose after falling to Leilehua 11-9. The Hurricanes have done it twice, falling 10-9 to Mililani in 2015.
The slew of scoring wasn’t limited to Division I last night, as Radford and Molokai were tied at 16-all in the sixth.
The record for most runs scored in a loss is 17 by Kohala against Waipahu’s 19 in 2006 and matched by Molokai in Wednesday’s 18-17 loss to Radford.
The following chart shows the recent offensive explosion. The red line is home runs in Division I state tournament winner’s bracket games while the blue line is average runs per game.
Hitters were actually ahead of the game when the tournament began in 1977, but pitching and defense took over until something happened in 2011.
Here are Wednesday’s bombers in Division I:
>> Saree-Ann Kekahuna, Baldwin
>> Xailey Kamealoha, Waianae
>> Aleia Agbayani, Iolani
>> Kailyn Barrett, Iolani
>> Puakea Milbourne, Kapolei (2)
>> Jade Behic, Kapolei
>> Alyssa Asuncion, Leilehua
>> Jacelyn Kepaa, Leilehua (2)
>> Alyssa Abe, Leilehua
>> Maya Nakamura, Roosevelt
>> Kenna Higa, Roosevelt