Some pitchers are so locked in, they have no time to think about esoteric things like how many strikeouts they had.
Just getting outs is all that matters.
That’s why Waianae junior Alohilani Napalapalai said “nine” when asked how many strikeouts she thought she had after Saturday’s 4-3 home win over Kapolei Charter.
“Ten?” she guessed.
Obviously, art is more important to her — such as how she painted the corners — than the math of the 17 strikeouts she recorded in her seven innings of two-hit ball.
Amazingly, due to four Seariders errors in the top of the fifth that led to three ‘Iwa runs, Waianae was down by a run, 3-2, heading to the bottom of the fifth.
After the Seariders tied it up 3-3, Napalapalai came through in heroic fashion with her bat as well, blasting a home run to left-center for what turned out to be the winning run in the bottom of the sixth.
“The coaches were getting us ready all week,” Napalapalai said. “They gave us a lot of motivation before this game.
“When I was in the batter’s box, I was thinking I needed to get on base for my team and I just met the ball.”
Waianae coach Robert Kalaola said, “That was a beautiful hit.”
In the pitchers circle, Napalapalai struggled in the team’s season opener Tuesday against Campbell in a 13-3 loss.
“She went back to the grind and started working hard,” Kalaola said. “She did her job today. The errors put us back a bit. Kapolei Charter is a disciplined, up-and-coming team. They’re young and aggressive. We had to come out and play our game.”
Kapolei Charter’s non-strikeout outs were two flyouts, two groundouts and a popout. On one of the strikeouts, an ‘Iwa batter reached base when Waianae catcher Braiesey Rosa dropped the ball on the third strike and threw wide to first.
According Rosa, Napalapalai was money with her inside curves, outside risers and change-ups. Rosa was glad the errors didn’t ultimately lead to disaster.
“We still battled to the end how we’re supposed to instead of giving up,” she added.
Rosa went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and drove in the tying run that made it 3-3 with a single in the fifth.
Waianae (1-1) visits Pearl City on Tuesday, hungry to compete in the loaded OIA West.
“We’re going to come out and battle with everybody,” Kalaola said. “Nobody is going to give us anything.”
Kapolei Charter (0-1) 000 030 0 — 3 2 3
Waianae (1-1) 010 111 x — 4 8 4
Leia Duropan and Nanea Tambaoan-Kaeo. Alohilani Napalapalai and Braiesy Rosa. W–Napalapalai. L–Duropan.
Leading hitters–Kapolei Charter: Kalia Kekahuna-Fernandez 2b, run. Waianae–Rosa 2-4, 2 RBIs; Napalapalai 2-3, HR; Davi-Jan Rodrigues RBI; Roxy Sousa 2 SBs, 2 runs.