ILH champion Kamehameha opens play in the DataHouse/HHSAA Softball State Championships against OIA East powerhouse Kaiser in the final game of the day at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
FINAL: Kamehameha 3, Kaiser 2, 10 innings
KAIS: The Cougars draw first blood when Seli Aholelei leads off with a single to left and scores on a one-out throwing error by Kamehameha’s third baseman. COUGARS 1, WARRIORS 0.
KS: The Warriors get two runners on base with two outs, but Aholelei, the pitcher, induces Christine Hipa into a pop foul for the third out.
KAIS: Dung hits the leadoff batter, Kayla Russell, but strikes out the side. Steady drizzle falling on the field now.
KS: Aholelei has picked up from where she left off on Tuesday (10 strikeouts in 4 innings against Keaau). She strikes out Rachel Ogasawara and Jordan Millwood, then walks Lia Tom before whiffing Makana Tyrell. She’s got the fastball, no doubt, but her skill at throwing off-speed pitches with almost the same motion and delivery is uncanny.
KAIS: Three up, three down as Dung retires the upper third of the batting order.
KS: We’re in the second rain delay in as many innings. Kamalani Dung at the plate with an 0-2 count.
Delay over, but it’s not promising. Weather report says it’s going to be wet tonight and the next few days. Aholelei seems undisturbed, retiring Kamehameha in order.
KAIS: Weather may be playing into this run by the Cougars. Marissa Oda leads off with an infield single, moves to second on a sac bunt by Tiana Ching-Lake. After Dung strikes out Kayla Russell, Haley Suzuki sends a ground ball to short, and the SS can’t get a clean grip on the ball. The throw sails wide of the first baseman and Oda scores from second base. Dung strikes out Chelsea Soong to end the inning. COUGARS 2, WARRIORS 0.
KS: Aholelei hits Mahina Sauer to start the inning. She advances to second on a sac bunt by Christine Hipa, but Aholelei gets Ogasawara to ground out to short, where Chelsea Soong holds the runner before firing to first for the second out. Millwood follows with a towering fly out to right. Hardly any rain in that half of the inning, easier for Kaiser’s fielders.
The weather is being fickle.
KAIS: Kai Hasegawa leads off with a walk, but is stranded there. Weather has improved, just a dusting of moisture during that half-inning. Dung struck out Aholelei and Rainelle Matsuoka.
KS: Warriors clutch up and score twice to tie the game. Pinch hitter Kaleihoku Kaneshiro doubts to left with one out. After Alana Cobb-Adams reaches on a bunt single, the Warriors have runners at the corners. Dung sends a sac fly to center, scoring Kaneshiro.
Millwood follows with a double to center, scoring Cobb-Adams to tie it up. Aholelei gets Mahina Sauer to ground out for the third out. WARRIORS 2, COUGARS 2.
KAIS: Oda leads off with a walk and advances to second base on a sac bunt, but is stranded. Dung gets Russell and Suzkuki out to end the threat.
KS: Huge opportunity for the Warriors. Hipa leads off with a walk and Ogasawara reaches base on a bunt. Odd play: Aholelei threw to second base (fielder’s choice?) after Hipa had reached second, and the throw surprised Kaiser’s SS. The ball ricocheted off the SS and into center field, right into the hands of their CF. Lucky break for Kaiser.
Aholelei strikes out Jordan Millwood as the drizzle continues to fall and now, wind is starting to kick up. Then Aholelei strikes out Tom for the second out. She’s almost out of the jam.
Kaneshiro, who entered as a pinch hitter in the fifth, is now up. Aholelei gets her to ground out to short, ending the inning. Great game, even with the rain delays.
KAIS: Hasegawa reaches base on an infield error — sky-high pop up that got swallowed up by the wind — but the Cougars don’t get in scoring position. Dung bears down again.
However this game ends, it absolutely does not feel like a typical quarterfinal game. Feels more like a semifinal. Or final.
KS: Three up, three down. Aholelei strikes out Dallas Millwood for the third out. We’re heading to extra innings. Weather is much better. No drizzle at all.
KAIS: Oda walks after Dung fumes just a bit after a close call (ball three) on the outside corner. Tiana Ching-Lake follows with a single to center, giving Kaiser a prime opportunity with just one out, but Russell pops out and Suzuki strikes out swinging to end the threat. Dung looks like she’s prepared to go 20 innings — or more — if necessary.
KS: Three up, three down. Aholelei looks perfectly comfortable out there. No wind, no rain. Dung vs. Aholelei could go 15 innings, easy. We’ll see.
KAIS: Another lost opportunity for the Cougars. Soong leads off with a single to right, and after a sac bunt by Hasegawa, Aholelei singles to right. Runners at the corners, pitch by Dung is high and Ogasawara can’t control it. Ball goes to the backstop, but Ogasawara hustles and throws to Dung, who puts the tag on Soong as she slides home. Big play, big out for Kamehameha. Dung then strikes out Tsutsui for the third out.
KS: Three up, three down again by Aholelei. If Dung is an All-State, First-Team level pitcher, Aholelei is right there with her. What a duel by the two aces.
Rain starting to fall again.
KAIS: Again, the Cougars get a golden opportunity and come up empty. This time, Matsuoka and Oda reach on singles — Oda with a sweet push bunt between the charging third baseman and Dung. After Tiana Ching-Lake’s sac bunt, Kaiser has runners at third and second. Then Russell hits a soft grounder to third, where Christine Hipa checks the runner, fakes the throw to first, then tosses to SS Tom, who tags Matsuoka out at third base. Brilliant play. Two outs. Then Suzuki grounds to third and it’s another 5-6 putout.
KS: Warriors making the most of their limited opportunities. Alana Cobb-Adams leads off with a single to center, and after Dung strikes out, Cobb-Adams takes off for second on a steal attempt. The throw from the catcher is high, off the shortstop’s glove, and Cobb-Adams keeps trucking. A good throw would get her at third, but it’s wide and sails wide. Cobb-Adams almost takes a chance at scoring, but stays at third. Stolen base, E2.
Aholelei bears down and strikes out Dallas Millwood for the second out. Then Mahina Sauer steps in an drives an 0-1 pitch to the opposite field through the hole at short for a single. Cobb-Adams scores the winning run.
Kamehameha 3, Kaiser 2, 10 innings
Mahina Sauer’s two-out single to left brought home Alana Cobb-Adams with the winning run, ending a magnificent pitchers duel between Kamehameha’s Kamalani Dung and Kaiser’s Seli Aholelei.
Aholelei struck out 15 batters in defeat, but a throwing error on a steal attempt by Cobb-Adams advanced her to third, setting up the winning hit.
Kaiser 100 100 000 0 — 2 7 1
Kamehameha 000 020 000 1 — 3 6 3
Two outs when winning runs scored.
Seli Aholelei and Haley Suzuki. Kamalani Dung and Rachel Ogasawara. W—Dung. L—Aholelei.
Leading hitters: Kaiser: Aholelei 2-5, run; Marissa Oda 2-3, run. KS: Alana Cobb-Adams 2-5, 2 runs; Dallas Millwood 2-5, 2 runs, RBI; Mahina Sauer 1-4, RBI; Kaleihoku Kaneshiro 1-3, double, run.