BEAUTIFUL afternoon in Central Oahu. Blue skies, a few white puffy clouds and blazing sun here at Mililani High School, where No. 1 Campbell is visiting the second-ranked Sabers. The wind blowing into home plate from left field is powerful, 10 to 25 mph.
Campbell’s Cydney Curran socked a one-out single, but a 4-6-3 double play ended the frame.
Sabers ace Elisa Favela looks strong, setting the side down in order with two strikeouts. She froze the leadoff hitter with a fastball on the inside corner for a third strike, then got another Trojan swinging.
The Sabers reach Mililani ace Aubree Kim for four runs in the top of the second. Kim walked three in the frame and seemed to struggle with her control some. Sierra Mariano’s single to right brought home courtesy runner Cieana Curran (Favela infield single) and Nashlynn Anguay (walk). Mariano advanced to third when the ball skidded off the glove of the RF for a two-base error.
Mariano then scored on a sac bunt by Ashlyn Yagin on a 2-1 pitch, giving the visitors a 3-0 lead. Perfectly executed. After Darien Robinson walked and moved to second on a sac bunt, Chardonnay Pantasico drilled a 1-2 pitch into the right-field corner for a triple, scoring Yagin. Kim walked Cydney Curran, but got Caragh Morris to pop out, ending the inning. SABERS 4, TROJANS 0.
Mililani went in order again in the bottom of the second.
Favela gets her second hit, a single to center, but courtesy runner Cieana Curran is later doubled up on a line-drive fly out to left by Robinson.
The Trojans get their first hit off Favela, a one-out double off the left-field fence by Shannon Pascua-Stanton. Favela gets a fly out, and her second strikeout of the inning ends the threat. Favela has four K’s without a walk. That makes it 23 strikeouts and zero walks in 18-plus innings (OIA play). Not bad.
Kim is peaking. She struck out the side in the top of the fourth — the bottom third of the Campbell order — all on swinging third strikes. Kim now has four strikeouts and three walks.
Mililani broke the scoring drought with a single run, though the damage could have been much worse. The Trojans benefited from two infield errors by Campbell, the second letting Kayla Bello to score easily from third. Favela retired the next two batters on fly outs to center, ending what could’ve been a disastrous inning for the Sabers. SABERS 4, TROJANS 1.
Three up, three down for Campbell Cydney Curran reached on a walk, but was thrown out on a steal attempt.
Mililani at bat now.
The Trojans are getting more contact off Favela and scored one run to cut the lead. Stanton-Pascua singled to short, and pinch runner Gabby Langsi later scored on a two-out double to the right-field corner by Maya Yoshiura. The wind from left field has died down to almost nothing in the past couple of innings and the Trojans seem to prefer this. SABERS 4, TROJANS 2.
Kim still in command, retiring the side in order. Since permitting a single to start the third, she has permitted just one baserunner (walk) and no Saber has reached second base. She has retired 10 of the last 11 batters.
While Kim grows stronger with each inning, Favela seemed to lose something on her fastball. Another Campbell error — on a tough chopper behind the mound — and a single to center by Tristan Cozo set the Trojans up with two runners on base and just one out. Then came a sac bunt by Brooke Yasuda, with Campbell’s third baseman, Robinson opting for a forceout throw to third. The throw was off to the right and pulled shortstop Pantastico off the bag for an error, loading the bases.
Pascua-Stanton then came through again. Her cue-shot infield single landed just out of the reach of Campbell’s diving first baseman, Morris, and Merilas “Mama” Rivera scored to cut the score to 4-3.
Then Markie Okamoto sent a fly ball to right, scoring Cozo from third. The throw from right field got to home plate on time, but Cozo broke up the play and the ball squirted loose as she touched home. Favela then struck out Keri Togami for the third out. TROJANS 4, SABERS 4.
What a game.
The top of the seventh was wacky. Brooke Yasuda gunned down Robinson, attempting to score from second on a single, at home play with a perfect throw on the fly. But Cydney Curran’s ground ball to third turned into a fielding error by Mililani’s first baseman, permitting Nikki Corla to score with two outs. SABERS 5, TROJANS 4.
Kylie-Ann Bello reached base with a one-out single, and courtesy runner Misha Ferreira raced around the bags on a gapper to right-center by Kristen Ishii to tie the game at 5-all. With Ishii at second base, Rivera socked a liner to left, scoring Ishii for the game-winning run. FINAL: TROJANS 6, SABERS 5.