Mililani keeps softball power out West

Mililani's Shannon Pascua-Stanton (24) and Merilis Rivera both hit two-run homers in the second inning of the Trojans' 14-4 win over Kamehameha on Friday. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser
Mililani’s Shannon Pascua-Stanton (24) and Merilis Rivera both hit two-run homers in the second inning of the Trojans’ 14-4 win over Kamehameha on Friday. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser

The West will rule again in the Division I  state softball tournament.

Top-seeded Mililani ensured the state title will remain within the OIA West for the fourth straight year with a 14-4 rout of Kamehameha in the semifinals of the DataHouse/HHSAA Division I Softball Championship on Friday at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.

Mililani senior Shannon Pascua-Stanton went 3-for-3 with a home run and a double and drove in seven runs as the Trojans set up a fourth consecutive All-OIA West final.

Merilis Rivera and Pascua-Stanton launched two-run home runs in a five-run Trojan uprising in the second inning and senior right-hander Misha Carreira struck out eight in six innings in the circle.

Mililani, the lone seed to survive the quarterfinals, advanced to the state championship game for the third time in the last four years. The Trojans (14-3) will attempt to win their first title since 2014 when they face OIA West rival and two-time defending state champion Campbell in Saturday’s 7 p.m. finale at a no doubt rowdy RWSS.

“Campbell’s a great team. Nobody expected us to be in this position but these kids work hard and they deserve it,” Mililani coach Rose Antonio said.

Mililani and Campbell split their regular-season meetings and the Sabers won the last two state tournament matchups between the programs.

After Mililani edged Campbell 2-1 for the 2014 championship, the Sabers rolled to a 16-4 victory in the 2015 title game and a 5-2 victory in last year’s semifinals.

“It’s exciting because I’ve experienced losing in a state championship and I’ve experienced winning a state championship,” Pascua-Stanton said. “This is our last year and we’re going to go all out.”

After Campbell rallied to a dramatic 5-4 win over Pearl City, Mililani capitalized on shaky Kamehameha defense to take a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

Trojans leadoff hitter Tarah Aniya reached on an errant throw, advanced on a bunt and stolen base and scored on Markie Okamoto’s grounder to shortstop.

Rivera, who reached base on a walk, scored on Pascua-Stanton’s bad-hop infield single.

Maya Saneishi  led off the bottom of the second with a double to left field and scored when Maya Yoshiura doubled to left as well. Rivera and Pascua-Stanton then launched two-run homers two at-bats apart to give the Trojans a 7-0 lead.

“We knew we had to be sharp. We knew our pitching had to keep it close and (Mililani) went on a hitting barrage,” Kamehameha coach James Millwood said.

Kamehameha got a run back in the third on Alana Cobb-Adams’ RBI single, but Mililani scored on two bases-loaded walked in the bottom of the inning to extend the lead to 9-1.

The Warriors strung together three doubles and a single with two out in the top of the fifth to cut the Mililani lead to 9-4. But Mililani loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning and Okamoto drove in her third run by flaring a single to right. Pascua-Stanton nearly ended the game, but her line drive to center hit near the top of the fence for a three-run double.

“I cheered too early, but it’s OK we came back,” Pascua-Stanton said. “We wanted (Carreira) to finish early so she could rest for tomorrow.”

The Trojans ended the game in the sixth when Yoshiura lined a double into the right-field corner to score Aniya from first and bring the run rule into effect.

At Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
Kamehameha (12-4-1)    001    030    —    4    6    3
Mililani (14-3)        252    041    —    14    9    0
Rayla Jacobs-Kea, Reese Mokuau (2) and Kyler Stephens. Misha Carreira and Markie Okamoto. W—Carreira . L—Jacobs-Kea.
Leading hitters—Kamehameha: Tausani Tavale, 2B; Alana Cobb-Adams, 2-3, 2 RBIs; Dallas Millwood, 2B, RBI; Gabrielle Tyrell, 2B.
Mililani: Maya Yoshiura, 2-2, 2 2B, 2 RBIs; Merilis RIvera, HR, 2 RBIs; Okamoto, 2-3, 3 RBIs; Shannon Pascua-Stanton, 3-3, 2B, HR, 7 RBIs; Maya Saneishi, 2B.


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