Kenna Higa’s power surge continued with a home run and six RBIs, and pitcher Momi Lyman went the distance as Kamehameha rallied with five runs in the fourth inning and seven in the seven for a 14-5 win over pesky Mid-Pacific on Saturday morning at Frear Softball Field.
“Coach Leo (Sing Chow) just told us to settle down and play our game,” senior catcher Nikki Donahue said. “The first couple innings really wasn’t our team. Once we settled down and we played our game, we did pretty good. Mid-Pacific has put up good numbers against good teams.”
The hard-luck Owls slipped to 1-3. They scored 12 runs in a loss to ‘Iolani and 11 in a loss to Maryknoll within the past week. This time, however, Lyman’s repertoire of breaking pitches made a difference for the visiting Warriors.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Punahou stormed past a short-handed ‘Iolani squad, 12-2, in six innings.
Kamehameha improved to 4-0 with the hard-earned win. Lyman, who signed with Whitworth, overcame a tough first two innings to record a complete-game win, scattering 10 hits. She struck out three and walked three.
“A lot of my screwballs were working. In the beginning, they weren’t working that well, but toward the end they started working way better,” Lyman said. “What helped me a lot today was my change-up and the change of speeds with them.”
During that hot stretch, shortly before high noon on a sunny day, Lyman allowed only one hit through the third, fourth and fifth innings as the Owls cooled off. The senior also bashed a solo home run in the fourth to help her own cause. Lyman and Madison Rabe, Kamehameha’s starting pitchers, have hit homers in each of their most recent starts.
“We like to hit,” Lyman said.
The visitors got on the scoreboard in the first inning when Keila Kamoku doubled with one out, then scored on a single by Higa.
The Owls, who led ‘Iolani 9-1 after just two innings one week earlier before losing, started strong again. Three runners crossed home plate in the bottom of the first inning.
Jenna Wong reached base on an infield error and Ava Puuohau walked. Alyssa Nakagawa’s single scored Wong from second base. Samantha Taga’s infield single brought Puuohau home to give Mid-Pacific an early lead. With two outs, Madi Sagawa’s single to right brought Nakagawa home.
Facing MPI starter Darian Kanno, the Warriors tacked on a single run in the top of the second frame. Mieya Andres led off with a walk and eventually scored on a two-out double to left by Haley Agena. Moments later, Agena was ruled out when Kamoku’s ground ball bounced off her leg in the base path.
Mid-Pacific then plated two more runs in the bottom of the second With two outs, Nakagawa walked and advanced to second base on a passed ball before Taga blasted a two-run homer to left field.
It landed where umpires had parked their cars before the game — before moving their cars behind the restroom portable building under advisement. But the Owls didn’t score again, scratching out a single by Nakagawa in the fourth inning, and base hits by Zoe Oshiro and Kaui Chun in the bottom of the seventh. It was an impressive turnaround by Lyman.
“I kind of had to take a little time for myself,” she said. “Bring it back to my mechanics a little bit and trust myself a little bit more. I kind of was rushing in the beginning, going through my pitches super fast, so I made sure I was taking my time toward the end. Make sure I know what pitch I’m throwing, where I need to throw it, what I need to do. That’s how I was able to come back. Our defense was pick it up, as well, so that was a good thing.”
Kamehameha took the lead in the top of the fourth against MPI’s new pitcher, Nakagawa. Lyman’s booming home run to center started the momentum. After Kainani Jacang was hit by pitch, Agena singled to center. With one out, Higa doubled to right, scoring Jacang, and a fielding error allowed Agena to race home, tying the game at 5.
Donahue followed with a home run to right-center, scoring Higa to give the Warriors a 7-5 lead.
“I was looking for a strike and trying to sit on that change because she threw a really good one today,” Donahue said.
The Owls’ third pitcher, Avery Mahoe, had more success. After getting the second and third outs of the fourth inning, she was untouched in the fifth and sixth frames as Mid-Pacific stayed close. However, in the seventh, the dam broke.
Destiny Lum, who had walked, came home on an infield single by Jacang. With Andres (double), Wyman (infield single) and Jacang on base, Agena smacked a line drove over first base, clearing the sacks to give Kamehameha an 11-5 lead.
After Kamoku walked, she and Jacang came home on a three-run home run to center by Higa. Kanno returned to the pitcher’s circle and put out the fire.
Averaging nearly 12 runs per game, Mid-Pacific has the distinction of being one of the most entertaining offensive attacks of any 1-3 team in recent memory. The Owls ill play Sacred Hearts on Wednesday at Ala Wai Community Park.
Kamehameha will travel to Punahou. When the teams met on Mar. 31, Kamehameha pulled away for a 15-6 victory. After Punahou, Kamehameha will face unbeaten Maryknoll (2-0) on Saturday.
“We know to play our game and stay ready,” Donahue said. “We know not to take any team lightly this year. I think we’ll be ready as long as we play together and stick together as a team.”
At Frear Softball Field
Kamehameha (3-1) 110 500 7 — 14 13 2
Mid-Pacific (1-3) 320 000 0 — 5 10 1
Momi Lyman and Nikki Donahue. Darian Kanno, Alyssa Nakagawa (4), Avery Mahoe (4) and Zoe Oshiro, Ava Puuohau (4).
Leading hitters—Kamehameha: Haley Agena 2-4, triple, double, 4 RBI, 2 runs, walk; Keila Kamoku 1-4, double, SB, walk, 2 runs; Kenna Higa 3-5, 6 RBI, 2 runs, HR; Donahue 2-3, 2 walks, HR, 2 RBI, run; Lyman 2-4, HR, 2 runs, RBI; Kainani Jacang 1-2, RBI, run, walk, HBP. Mid-Pacific: Jenna Wong 1-4, double, run; Nakagawa 2-3, 2 runs, RBI, walk; Samantha Taga 2-4, HR, 3 RBI, run; Zoe Oshiro 2-3, walk; Madi Sagawa 1-4, RBI.