Aubree Kim was not nervous. The adrenaline was pumping too much for that, she said.
The Mililani pitcher was in a precarious situation, though, in the Division I semifinals of the state tournament at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Holding a 3-2 lead against Maryknoll in the bottom of the seventh, Kim gave up a leadoff single to Bree Soma, and then Kamalei Labasan drilled a double to put runners on second and third. A walk to Maia McNicoll loaded the bases.
“Bases loaded, no outs. I kept thinking, ‘I know we’re going to win this game. I just don’t know how.’ ”
The answer came soon enough.
The Spartans’ Shayna Ige popped out for the first out, bringing Shearyna Labasan to the plate. She smacked a grounder to third baseman Merilas Rivera, who came up with the ball, stepped on third for the second out, looked for a split second to see if the runner on third was going home and fired to first for the double play and the win.
“I didn’t know what she was going to do,” Kim said. “I thought she was going to throw home. I thought she was brilliant to know what to do in that situation.”
And so Kim gets another challenge from Campbell in the final Friday night. The Trojans (15-2) defeated the Sabers (16-2) in the title game a year ago and again in the OIA championship game May 8.
“It’s no secret that they have a lot of power in that lineup,” Kim said. “They are the team we know the most (as OIA West rivals).”
Maryknoll coach John Uekawa declined to talk about the loss other than to say, “Mililani played a great game.”
Shearyna Labasan, who pitched a complete game, struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter in the loss, said: “We tried our best. We just didn’t pull through and came up short in the end.”
The Spartans (16-3-1) stranded a whopping 14 runners on base, including the bases loaded in the fourth and sixth and runners on second and third in the first and fifth.
Uncharacteristically, Kim walked 10 batters, and she also fanned seven.