Danielle Cervantes cringed a bit while acknowledging she had a no-hitter on her mind late in Campbell’s 8-0 win over Kamehameha on Wednesday at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
The junior right-hander took the no-no into the sixth inning before giving up a clean two-out single to Kamehameha’s Kalaihoku Kaneshiro. But Cervantes closed the inning with her 14th strikeout then struck out the side in the seventh to cap a day of remarkable pitching performances in the quarterfinal round of the DataHouse/HHSAA Division I Softball Championship.
A little less than 7 1/2 hours after Mililani’s Aubree Kim finished off a no-hitter against Maui with her 17th strikeout, Cervantes punctuated a one-hit performance against the ILH champion and second-seeded Warriors with strikeout No. 17.
“I kind of knew,” Cervantes said of her strikeout total, “but I just didn’t think about it too much. Just had to keep working and doing my thing.”
In between Kim’s and Cervantes’ gems, Pearl City defeated Waiakea on a five-inning no-hitter and Kapolei’s Sadie Kapaku-You turned in an efficient two-hit outing in the top-seeded Hurricanes’ 5-0 win over Leilehua.
Collectlively, the four quarterfinal winners allowed no runs and three hits while recording 47 strikeouts in 26 innings. Counting the consolation games, all six of Wednesday’s Division I games were shutouts.
Campbell has won its first two state tournament games by an aggregate score of 23-0 and advanced to face Mililani in the first game of Thursday’s all-OIA West semifinal round. The Sabers and Trojans meet at 4:30 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s state final with Kapolei and Pearl City scheduled start at 7.
Campbell claimed both regular-season meetings with Mililani, winning 5-0 on March 22 and 3-1 in 10 innings on April 23.
“We see each other during the season, we see each other during tournaments all the time, now we get into states,” Campbell coach Michael Hermosura said.
“(Mililani coach) Rose (Antonio) always brings out good squads to battle for the title and we’re just going to have to battle and execute one game at a time.”
After getting shutouts from Elisa Favela on Tuesday and Cervantes on Wednesday, Hermosura said he’s undecided on who will get the ball to start in the semifinal.
“I really don’t know who I’m going to start,” he said. “I’m going have to get with the other coaches and see how Danielle feels and how Elisa feels and we’ll decide.”
Hermosura said Cervantes averaged about 10-12 strikeouts this season and she turned in a season high in her first appearance of the state tournament.
“My curveball and riseball were working very well today,” Cervantes said.
“Danielle threw her game,” Hermosura said. “She wants the ball more and more and I pretty much expected this. … She hit her spots and she threw the pitches I asked for and everything was jumping off her hand.”
Cervantes retired 10 of the last 13 batters she faced, all on strikeouts. She got offensive support in a four-run third inning and a three-run seventh with catcher Jocelyn Alo and third baseman Darien Robinson both hammering opposite-field home runs to right center.
>> Kapolei shortstop Sala Pedebone turned in the offensive performance of the day with a two-home run day against Leilehua in the most competitive game of the quarterfinal round.
Pedebone hit a two-run homer in the third inning and went deep again in her next at-bat in the fifth inning. She also kept busy in the field with five assists as Kapaku-You fed her infield groundballs.
“It’s lots of fun, especially when I’m executing,” Pedebone said of playing behind Kapaku-You. “I’m glad I’m pulling through for her too.”
Kapaku-You finished with three strikeouts and relied on her defense while throwing just 62 pitches in a complete-game effort.