Pac-Five’s resurgence was another remarkable finish.
The Wolf Pack were 0-8 at midseason, but a win over Punahou sparked its engine. Friday’s 5-4 cliffhanger victory over Waimea gave the program its third Division II state title in six seasons.
“We started picking up after mistakes quicker,” ace Sheridan Mahelona said of the midseason rally. “It used to take awhile.”
Tantalizing Waimea with curves and screwballs, Mahelona carried the workload of four games and showed signs of fatigue in the sixth inning.
“I just had to calm down. We told each other to just get one out at a time. I talked to myself. Every pitch mattered,” said Mahelona, who will play at Creighton University (Neb.) next season.
“We call ’em the ‘Cardiac Kids’,” coach Cecil Hasegawa said. “Waimea made a great comeback. I would expect no less from them.”
The teams met two months ago at Waimea’s preseason tourney, a game that ended in a 4-all tie.
When the season began, Hasegawa didn’t know if Mahelona would be able to pitch through the state tourney, knowing that the final would be held on University High’s graduation night.
“I was preparing myself for her not to be here if we made it,” he said.
After Pac-Five won its semifinal game against Kalani, Mahelona made up her mind.
“She decided she wanted to be here,” Hasegawa said.
With that, OC 16 reporter Jen Boneza gave Mahelona an enthusiastic impromptu graduation ceremony at home plate.
Home is where the heart is, and Mahelona’s was with her team.
Paul Honda, Star-Bulletin