Leilehua leaves no doubt in state semis

Leilehua's Alyssa Asuncion touched home plate after hitting a three-run home run against Mililani at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium. Jay Metzger / Special to the Star-Advertiser

First-year Leilehua softball coach Wendell Au has a list of five goals he asks of his team in any game.

“It’s simple goals. It’s five goals that will continually win games,” said Au, a 1992 Leilehua graduate and seven-year assistant with Mules softball. “Make good choices baserunning, quality at-bats, no errors, pitchers hit the spot and we just out-hustle a team. And that five things can win a ballgame.”

He’s yet to have a “perfect” game for those criteria, but his Mules came close on Thursday. They dominated OIA West rival Mililani to the tune of 13-0 in a five-inning semifinal of the DateHouse/HHSAA Softball Championships at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.

It sets up a potential first softball championship for Leilehua, if the Mules can stay hot for one more game. They meet Punahou on Friday at 7 p.m.

The last time Leilehua played for a state softball championship was 1988, a loss to Kailua. Wahiawa’s team is 0-3 in state championship games, and before Thursday, it lost its last three semifinal appearances.

Kamryn Kamakaiwi tossed a two-hitter with no walks in five dominant innings, Alyssa Asuncion went 3-for-3 and drove in five runs.

“It was mostly the girls behind me,” Kamakaiwi said of what worked, aside from her changeup and screwball.

“Our team, how close we are together, this is more of a family-oriented team,” she added. “So, no matter on the bench or on the field, we know our role and we know how to support each other.”

As good as his team was Thursday, Au’s mind tracked to his team’s lone error (a wide throw from shortstop to first base in the bottom of the first) right afterward.

“One E is one run, and we can lose a game 1-0. It’s as simple as that,” he said. “Especially in this caliber (situation), at this point. This is the cream of the crop right now.”

Leilehua (14-4) blew Thursday’s rivalry game wide open with a nine-run third inning, during which Asuncion launched a three-run bomb over the centerfield fence. The Mules sent 14 batters to the plate in the frame and tallied eight of their 14 hits.

“It was a 3-2 count and I was expecting it to be a strike, and it just went,” Asuncion said of her second homer of the season.

Katie Carlos (fourth inning) and Kayla Bello (fifth) singled as the only hits for the Trojans (9-10). Meanwhile, Kaena Nistal, Brandi Leong and Gwen Maeha each drove in a pair for the Mules.

“Leilehua, they came out hot, they came out swinging the bats,” Mililani coach Rose Antonio said. “They’re a great team over there, one of the top teams in the state. They have all the tools.”

Mililani upset Leilehua 5-3 in the teams’ first meeting March 10. Leilehua responded with an 11-0, five-inning win on April 17, just prior to the OIA tournament, in which Leilehua finished third.

“Definitely,” Antonio said of improvement on Leilehua’s part. “They’re more disciplined at the plate. They’re hitting their pitch that they want to hit. The pitching, they keep batters off balance and that’s what you need. They’ve got three good pitchers over there, three or four.”

Offensively, they’ve been just as good. So far, no one in the state tournament has been able to contain the Mules to single digits. Cheyenne Ardona took the brunt of it Thursday, giving up eight runs in two innings (four earned).

Leilehua got its tournament started Tuesday with a 12-1 rout of Baldwin. It followed that up by topping topping ILH champion Maryknoll 10-5 in Wednesday’s quarterfinals behind a huge game from Nistal.

Division I

Game #DateMatchupTime/ScoresSite
1May 8Kealakehe vs. Pearl CityPC, 19-4 (5)Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
2May 8Baldwin vs. LeilehuaLei, 12-1 (5)Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
3May 8Roosevelt vs. MililaniMil, 6-1Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
4May 8Punahou vs. KapoleiPun, 10-2Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
5*May 9Baldwin vs. RooseveltRoos, 20-1 (4)Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
6May 9(4) Lahainaluna vs. PunahouPun, 10-4Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
7May 9(3) Waiakea vs. MililaniMil, 4-3Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
8May 9(2) Maryknoll vs. LeilehuaLei, 10-5Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
9May 9(1) Campbell vs. Pearl CityCamp, 10-7Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
10*May 10Kealakehe vs. KapoleiKapo, 7-0Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
11*May 10Pearl City vs. LahainalunaPC, 12-8McKinley
12*May 10Maryknoll vs. WaiakeaMryk, 12-0 (6)McKinley
13May 10Leilehua vs. MililaniLei, 13-0 (5)Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
14May 10Campbell vs. PunahouPun, 11-3Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
15*May 11Roosevelt vs. KapoleiRoos, 4-2McKinley
16*May 11Pearl City vs. MaryknollTie, 1-1 (5)McKinley
17*May 11Campbell vs. MililaniMil, 2-0McKinley
18May 11Punahou vs. LeilehuaLei, 14-4 (6)Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
* — consolation


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