Wild comeback extends Maryknoll’s season

Maryknoll's Mahalo Akaka scored in the second inning of Thursday's ILH tournament game against Kamehameha. She later drove in a run in the Spartans' 12-11 comeback win to end the Warriors' season. Photo by Jamm Aquino/jaquino@staradvertiser.com

Maryknoll had remarkably chopped a seven-run deficit to one when Kiana Arcayena stepped into the batter’s box with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning on Thursday at Sand Island.

But Arcayena still needed to reach base to extend the Spartans’ season, and by extension, her career.

With Logan Carlos representing the tying run 60 feet away and Maryknoll trailing Kamehameha 11-10 in an ILH softball tournament semifinal, Arcayena took two balls then watched two strikes go by. The senior then fouled off the next pitch to add to the tension.

“I was just trying to have a productive at bat and just get it out there where at least Logan could score and go to extra innings,” Arcayena said.

Arcayena’s next swing sent a looping fly over Kamehameha first baseman Dallas Millwood, who made a diving stab at the flare. But the ball landed on the grass inches out of Millwood’s grasp and Carlos and Kanoe Tanigawa crossed the plate to give Maryknoll a stunning 12-11 win and send the Spartans to the tournament final.

“I was so proud of Kiana,” said Maryknoll senior Kahilu McNicoll, who earned a pitching win when Arcayena’s single gave the Spartans their only lead of the afternoon. “I had trust in her that she was going to do what she needed to do.”

The Spartans finished the first round of the ILH season in second place, leaving open the possibility of a playoff for a state tournament berth if first-place Punahou were able to win the tournament as well. But that scenario was eliminated when ‘Iolani knocked off the Buffanblu 6-4 on Aleia Agbayani’s three-run homer in the seventh inning across town, thus both Maryknoll and Kamehameha needed a win to keep the season alive.

It appeared Maryknoll would have to battle just to avoid getting run-ruled when Kamehameha pounded out seven runs in the top of the first inning. Kyler Stephens opened the scoring with a two-run double and Gabby Tyrell highlighted the outburst with a two-out grand slam.

Maryknoll answered with four runs in the second inning, but the Warriors got the runs back when Stephens launched another grand slam in the third.

McNicoll took over for Aloha Akaka in the circle for Maryknoll in the top of the fourth and kept the Warriors scoreless the rest of the way.

But the Spartans were still down 11-5 going into the sixth inning. That was about the time word of ‘Iolani’s win over Punahou reached the Maryknoll dugout.

“We didn’t really want to put the pressure on them. We didn’t really talk to them about it, but we knew what the score was,” Maryknoll coach John Uekawa said. “But we knew just get a little walk here, a little walk there and before you know it things started moving forward.”

Maryknoll loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and Baylie Kahele, Liliana Thomas and Arcayena drew walks to force in three runs. Mahalo Akaka drilled a single into left and McNicoll worked another walk to close the gap to 11-10.

With one out in the seventh, Carlos reached on an infield single and Tanigawa doubled off the fence in right field. Millwood then snagged a line drive to preserve the Kamehameha lead for the moment. Thomas walked to load the bases and Arcayena’s walk-off flare set off a wild Maryknoll celebration.

“Our goal was to make states and keep rolling from here,” Arcayena said. “We knew this game wasn’t over. We’re not done yet.”

Maryknoll and ‘Iolani meet Tuesday at Sand Island for the ILH tournament title and the league’s second state tournament berth. The winner then faces Punahou for the overall title.


  1. KS Parent April 27, 2018 5:51 am

    KS had a roller coaster season filled with the incompetence of HC James not only this season but since he’s taken over the program. KS had more than enough pitching to get by this season but his mismanagement of the pitchers always cost the team. He fooled KS getting the job but couldn’t fool the numbers season after season. Never a good sign when you overhear speperate conversations from opposing teams parents talking about his coaching. None the less congrats to Maryknoll!

  2. Falcon Future April 27, 2018 7:51 am

    ^^^ And here we go again … LOL

    Always seems to be “coaches fault” at this school, and the administration always caves to the parents. Based on this, you can expect a coaching change for softball sometime soon.

  3. Falcon Joke April 27, 2018 8:42 am

    Falcon Future get a LIFE and STOP TROLLING every single article. Be a little more educated and go back then count all the coaches that got let go from Kamehameha for being a terrible coach…..0. All the coaches get let go for insubordination or breaking a policy. Terrible coaching happens a every school but only the big name schools make the news.

  4. Falcon Joke April 27, 2018 8:49 am

    @ Hawaii Prep World – I think I speak for most when I say your video clips add a lot to your articles. Good job and thanks!

  5. ILH April 27, 2018 10:03 am


    You got it right. These parents are 10 much.
    Easy to coach from the sidelines.
    Even easier to criticize.

  6. KS '77 April 27, 2018 10:16 am

    More disappointment for KSK. Another late-season”collapse” by a Kamehameha team… Just like the baseball. And the coaching merry-go-round continues, with no clear direction in view… “Leadership”? As an alum, I see a program needing direction. Where is the excellence up on the hill? For a school that big, and so much resources, how many ILH or State titles they won in the last few years???

  7. Bullseye April 27, 2018 10:37 am

    Coming from a parent who actually has a daughter on the team KS Parent hit a bullseye!

    FF/ILH (because you sound like the same person) Comment all you like but don’t act like you know anything unless you have a kid on the team.

  8. Concerened Parent/Coach April 27, 2018 12:42 pm

    I come from both sides of the spectrum as a parent and coach. I can see how frustrating as a parent and especially as a student athlete it can be to lose a heart breaking game like the one Kamehameha and Maryknoll played yesterday. As a parent and coach we try and build these young adults to become productive and positive role models in their community well beyond their teen years. We have to remember that STUDENT comes first before athlete . Championships win trophies but education and good grades wins futures. Of course winning championships is always a great feeling, but the big picture here is to prepare our youth for their future. Coming from a coaches perspective, it’s really sad to see when adults (mostly parents) attack the integrity and credibility of coaches and their staff because either their child doesn’t play enough, they don’t like how the coach is coaching or for other stupid reasons. Please keep in mind that most coaches and their staff take a lot of their time away from themselves and their own family to groom these athletes. Many hours of their own dedication to help these youths because they love it.

  9. IMUA April 27, 2018 2:54 pm

    Concerned Parent/Coach it wasn’t yesterday’s game, it was the whole season. No one is even talking about the rest of the staff but just Millwood. If anything the girls played for some of the other coaches. The issue is he can’t manage a game and he doesn’t not utilize the talent he has. He once left a pitcher in to get tagged for 17 hits. Not 7 but 17. Who does that? What is that girl learning? That it’s okay for an adult to not care? Multiple times he has given up on pitchers and stopped calling the game. Who does that? It’s ok to throw a pitcher who hasn’t pitched one inning the whole season into a bases loaded situation? If you were wondering it did result in a home run. What is that girl learning? As a coach why would you put anyone in that situation when you haven’t prepared them for it? Let’s not rehash every season he has been the coach. Same thing. But if that doesn’t convince you then think about this despite being regular season champs every year except for this year, he has never been voted ILH coach of the year. That should say volumes, and that’s from whining parents. While your perspective is yours try to see the true perspective. It’s not a issue of playing time. No parents went to the AD about playing time. Jobs are give. Integrity and credibility are earned.

  10. Too Meke 2 April 27, 2018 10:24 pm

    @ Imua and KS Parent, I am assuming when a coaching change is made, we can see the both of you or either of you leading this team to a state championship since its obvious you are so intelligent.

    Can I have your name so I can follow your coaching career when you guys get hired.


  11. IMUA April 27, 2018 10:53 pm

    Too Meke why don’t you put your name? LOL. Go back and read my comment again. Never mentioned championship. Being knowledgable and treating these players right is the best anyone can ask for, both of which never happened. You don’t seemed to concerned with the scenarios I mentioned. So you must think it’s okay to leave a player in for 17 hits? Why don’t you put your name in for coaching, with your intelligence you most likely will get the job, and I’ll follow your lame coaching career ; )

  12. ILH April 28, 2018 11:04 am

    Go coach, the lot of you. Really.

    And we see how you fare under the microscope.

    Or keep up the great job of talking ish.

    #coachfromafar #bobbysoxchamp

  13. ILH HAHA April 28, 2018 6:15 pm

    bobby sox champ? hahaha. Your comment puts you in the 50+, male, disgruntled category. This forum is for discussion and you only get lame comebacks is “go coach”. Give me a break. I think there’s newer softball articles that you can comment on “go coach”. You are over 50 because your typing skills not that good either….SEE YAH

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