[ HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL ]
Junior ’Bows dominate
Kalaheo to capture
They aren't exactly the Hoosiers of film lore, but the University Junior 'Bows are perhaps more impressive.
Behind a one-hitter by Jessica Ghazali and a resounding 3-for-3 performance at the plate by Mandy Yoshizu, University zapped Kalaheo 10-0 to capture the Division II softball state championship last night.
The 10-run rule shortened the game to five innings.
"I knew we could do it. I'm happy our offense came through, and our defense played big," said Ghazali, a sophomore who was well aware that the game was being televised live. "I was so nervous all day, but I know how to pitch. I knew my team would be ready."
A capacity crowd sat through a dose of drizzles from above at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium as Ghazali turned in one of her best pitching outings of the season, if not the best.
"Their pitcher's great. Their team is really polished," Kalaheo manager Alan Cofran said.
"It's our senior year and we were really excited," Yoshizu said of University's five seniors.
University has an enrollment of about 200. Still, the school has a proud softball tradition, and first-year head coach Randy Oyama owns the distinction of having guided the school to its first state softball title since 1979. The Junior 'Bows won the title under Corinne Chang that year.
"They've been hitting well the last month and a half," Oyama said of his team's 10-hit attack.
University (10-7) gave Interscholastic League of Honolulu foes trouble this season. The Junior 'Bows gave the upper echelon scares, and they upset Iolani last week to qualify for the league's Division II state berth.
Kalaheo (7-7) struggled at the plate against Ghazali. The sophomore struck out four and issued just one walk. The Junior 'Bows provided plenty of support in more ways than one. They led 3-0 after two innings before exploding for seven runs in the third.
Yoshizu was a sparkplug, drilling a two-out, opposite-field triple down the left-field line in the first inning. That scored Richie-Ann Titcomb, who had led off with a single.
Cara Hasegawa followed with a ground ball to third, where a rundown of Yoshizu ensued. After four throws by the Mustangs, Yoshizu slid back into third base safely.
Ku'ulei Padeken slapped a single to right moments later, but first baseman Kaliko Serrao fired a perfect throw home to catcher DeAnn Horswill, who tagged Yoshizu out at the plate to end the inning.
The Mustangs put two runners in scoring position in the top of the second, but University's defense came through. Jasmine Nahipaa grounded out to short, and Yoshizu, the first baseman, fired a bullet home to nail Kepa for the third out.
W--Jessica Ghazali. L--Kaliko Kepa.
Leading hitters--Kalh: DeAnn Horswill, hit. UHS: Richie Titcomb, 2-3, 2B, RBI; Mandy Yoshizu, 3-3, 2 3Bs, RBI; Reesene Choy, 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI.
W--Jerri Fauatea. L--Deynna Pahio.
Leading hitters--Lan: Fauatea, 2-4, RBI; Liana Alboro, 2-4, 2 RBI; Kayla Eligado, 2-4. Hon: Brancy Juan, 3B.