There aren’t a lot of routine wins at this point of the high school softball season.
OIA champion and No. 1 seed Mililani survived some tense moments late to pull out a 7-6 victory over Maui to advance to the Division I semifinals of the Datahouse/HHSAA Softball State Championships tonight at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Merilis Rivera finished a triple shy of the cycle with three runs and two RBIs and Shannon Pascua-Stanton went 3-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs for the Trojans (13-3), who led 7-3 in the top of the seventh inning.
Maui (11-6) took advantage of three walks and an error to score three runs and put the tying run on third base and winning run on second.
Mililani starter Misha Carreira, who struck out seven but also walked seven in the complete-game win, got a pop fly to shallow left to end it.
“I don’t know what happened,” Mililani coach Rose Antonio said. “Maybe a little drizzle here or drizzle there, maybe some nerves, I don’t know but I’m really glad we came out of it.”
Two walks and an error loaded the bases with nobody out to bring up Nawai Kaupe as the tying run.
Kaupe, who hit the game-winning homer in Wednesday’s 6-5 opening-round win over Leilehua in extra innings, drew a four-pitch walk to bring in a run.
“Figured we’d pitch around her,” Antonio said of Kaupe, who signed to play at Washington next year.
Cira Bartolotti, who went the distance on the mound for the Sabers (11-6), made it 7-5 with a sacrifice fly to center.
Melia Paet singled back up the middle on an 0-2 pitch to make it a one-run game before Carreira got a grounder to first for the second out.
With the go-ahead run on second, Carreira got a fly ball to shallow left that nearly fell between shortstop Tarah Aniya and left fielder Taylor Schmerbauch.
Schmerbauch had to drop to a knee and make a basket catch behind Aniya to end the game.
“I was calling it off because I thought it’s going to go a little deeper than it did, but it died,” Schmerbaugh said. “My shortstop trusted me to catch the ball and I really appreciated that because I got to actually catch the ball and make the winning play.”
Mililani had eight days off since winning the OIA tournament but showed no rust at the plate against a Sabers team that scored an impressive win in the first round against the Mules.
Aniya led off the bottom of the first with a triple and Pascua-Stanton added a two-out triple of her own to put Mililani ahead 2-1.
The Trojans scored four more runs in the third inning on RBI hits by Jerae Keliikoa and Pascua-Stanton and run-scoring doubles by Rivera and Maya Saneishi.
Rivera then launched her first home run of the tournament in the fourth inning to give Mililani its largest lead of the game at 7-1 before Maui scored five unanswered runs before coming up just short.
“I’m very proud of how we swung the bats,” Antonio said. “We battled and came out hard and got the runs we needed early.”
Destiny Cornelio hit a solo homer for the Sabers and Kaupe finished with three walks, two runs scored and an RBI.
Mililani finished with 13 hits.
at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
Maui (11-6) 100 011 3 — 6 4 2
Mililani (13-3) 204 100 x — 7 13 1
Cira Bartolotti and Nicole Nakanishi. Misha Carreira and Markie Okamoto. W—Carreira. L—Bartolotti.
Leading hitters—Maui: Nawai Kaupe 2 runs, 2 bb; Melia Paet 2-3, RBI; Kaimi Lay-Fuentes 2b, RBI; Destiny Cornelio HR. Mililani: Tarah Aniya 3b, run; Maya Yoshiura 2b, run, RBI; Merilis Rivera 3-4, 2b, HR, 3 runs, 2 RBIs; Shannon Pascua-Stanton 3-4, 3b, run, 2 RBIs; Maya Saneishi 2b, RBI.