OIA West takes over top 3 spots in softball

Kapolei’s Kiley Ozaki hit one of the Hurricanes' three home runs in the first inning of a game against Mililani earlier this season. The Hurricanes are one of three OIA West teams to receive three first-place votes in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Softball Top 10 this week. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

The chaos in the standings of prep softball in the ILH and OIA lead to one result: confusion.

In fact, one voter in this week’s Star-Advertiser Softball Top 10 simply responded: “I don’t know how to sort this out. Please repeat my ballot from last week.”

The coach wasn’t alone, coaches and media are perplexed by the incredible parity this season. The growing number of quality teams — so many good ones who don’t crack the Top 10 or even get votes — is a direct reflection of the rising standard from school to school, club to club. With the likes of Jocelyn Alo (two-time All-State Player of the Year) tearing the cover off the ball for Oklahoma, there is simply so much talent and work ethic — and great coaching — that the weekly shuffle has become the norm.

For the first time this season, OIA West teams occupy the top three positions in the poll. Campbell, Kapolei and Leilehua received three first-place votes apiece.

Campbell (12-4-2, 5-2 OIA West) retains the No. 1 spot in this week’s Top 10 despite an 11-3 loss at Kapolei, the lone game for the Sabers in a rain-soaked week.

Kapolei and Leilehua share the No. 2 perch. Kapolei (16-8, 6-3 OIA West) has won four of its last five games and is 11-6 in nonconference and regular-season competition against Top 10 teams. Leilehua (8-3, 5-2 OIA West), which has a two-game win streak, saw its game with Pearl City washed away by rain. The Lady Mules visit Campbell on Tuesday.

ILH teams take up the next three slots in the rankings. Punahou (11-5, 5-2 ILH) makes the leap from No. 7 to No. 4 today. The Buffanblu ran away from Kamehameha 13-5 on Thursday to move into a tie for first place in the ILH.

Maryknoll (9-4, 4-2 ILH) remains at No. 5 after a bye week. The Lady Spartans have not played since Mar. 21. They will host Punahou on Wednesday, then visit ‘Iolani on Friday and Mid-Pacific on Saturday.

Kamehameha (10-4, 5-2 ILH) is at No. 6. The Warriors opened league play with five wins in a row, then lost to Maryknoll and Punahou. The Warriors play Pac-Five, Mid-Pacific and ‘Iolani this week.

Kaiser (9-3, 7-1 OIA East) dropped one notch to No. 7 after taking its first loss in league play, falling at Moanalua 11-0. The Lady Cougars are a half-game behind Roosevelt in the East.

Eighth-ranked Roosevelt (10-1-1, 8-1 OIA East) collected one first-place vote. Since losing to Kaiser on Mar. 20, the Rough Riders have beaten Moanalua 18-7, Kailua 8-0 and Castle 8-0.

Roosevelt flipped spots with Pearl City, which slipped to No. 9. The Lady Chargers are on a three-game win streak. Their lone game last week against Leilehua was rained out, and their previous game was a forfeit win over Nanakuli. Pearl City has not played a game since Mar. 20. The Chargers will visit Kapolei on Thursday.

No. 10 Mililani (15-8, 5-4 OIA West) is also on a three-game win streak since losing close battles against Campbell and Pearl City. The Lady Trojans will host Leilehua on Thursday.

St. Francis, which was tied at No. 10 with Mililani in last week’s Top 10, dropped out of the poll. The Saints defeated ‘Iolani 7-4 and Pac-Five 17-3 last week. St. Francis is 3-2 against Top 10 teams.

The only other unranked team that has at least three wins over ranked foes is Waianae, which is 3-6 against Top 10 competition.

St. Francis (11), Baldwin (11) and Waiakea (seven) also received votes.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10

Updated: 10/23
1.Kamehameha (10)100


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