Defending Division II softball state champion St. Francis got a boost with the arrival of junior pitcher Shaylann Grace, a transfer from Konawaena.
Grace helped the Wildcats reach the semifinals of the 2017 Division II state tournament. St. Francis rallied to edge Konawaena 8-7 and went on to capture the state title with a win over Kamehameha-Hawaii in the final. Grace homered and went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored against St. Francis.
She will bolster a talented pitching staff led by ace Sierra Kupihea.
“We’re about three our four pitchers deep,” senior catcher Keliinoi said. “I think we can be as dominant as last year. We have a lot of returnees and some freshmen coming up. With practice and gelling together, we’ll do good. It’s a tough league with Damien, Sacred Hearts, Pac-Five.”
The relationship between Grace and the Saints began with Keliinoi’s family, who are friends of Grace’s family. Grace enrolled at St. Francis in the fall and now lives with the Keliinoi ohana.
“It branched out after states. She was looking for a club to travel with,” Keiliinoi said of her club, Team Kulia. “We went to Kansas City and California.”
Keliinoi had a busy morning getting ready for the signing day event at the Hawaii Convention Center. For more, click here.