‘Iolani softball coach Benny Agbayani summed it up by saying it’s the amount of talent in Hawaii.
Leilehua coach Wendell Au said there are a lot more hitting coaches than pitching coaches.
Whatever the reason, and there are plenty of them, the offensive numbers in the Datahouse/HHSAA Softball State Championships through two days is absolutely mind blowing.
The defending champion Mules combined with Lahainaluna to score a record 31 runs in the Mules’ 21-10 win in six innings on Thursday in the second quarterfinal game that lasted 2 hours, 55 minutes.
The 21 runs tied the 1977 Campbell team — in the first-ever state softball tournament no less — for the most runs scored by a team in a Division I game.
Leilehua put up eight runs in the first inning and had two other innings it crossed the plate six times. The Lunas had a six-run inning of their own, highlighted by Ka’aina Kalanikau‘s grand slam.
Leilehua’s Kawena Kahana-Travis hit her first two home runs of the entire season — in back-to-back innings no less — and three others (Leilehua’s Gianna Araki and Alana Jarra-Parker and Baldwin’s Nohili Hong) also went deep.
The record for most homers in a state tournament was 17 in 2015. There were 13 hit in four games in the opening round and 11 hit in the first three quarterfinal games.
‘Iolani’s Aleia Agbayani, who hit two in the Raiders’ 11-0 win over Kealakehe in five innings, is now 6-for-7 in the tournament with a double, triple, three homers, six runs scored and nine RBIs.
Au, who led the Mules to their first state title last season, isn’t expecting to shut down opposing offenses at this point.
“We know we’re going to get hit so we’ve got to hit,” he said. “That’s always been the message I give to the girls. We hit every single day and that’s kind of the name of this game.”
The 49 runs scored by the Mules in their four wins last year are the most in a tournament by the winner. Of the 42 teams to have won a state championship, only six scored more in the entire tournament than Leilehua has in its first two games this year.
“I just feel like we’re on a roll right now,” Leilehua’s Alana Jarra-Parker said after her six RBIs against the Lunas.
The Mules will get Punahou in the semifinals in a rematch of last year’s final. Punahou has scored at least eight runs in its last five games, including an 11-4 win over Roosevelt in the semifinal which included seven consecutive two-out hits that led to eight runs in the second inning.
D’Asha Saiki and Liana Heshiki went deep for the Buffanblu while Jadalee Takara blasted a three-run homer for the Rough Riders.