HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL
Kepa leads Kalaheo to shutout win in OIA White final
Keliko Kepa believes in leadership by example.
The senior hurled a five-hitter and batted 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs as Kalaheo blanked Aiea 7-0 yesterday to win the Oahu Interscholastic Association White Conference softball championship.
The Mustangs (11-0) will have the OIA's top seed at the state Division II softball championships, which begin Wednesday. It is Kalaheo's second White crown in the last three seasons.
Kepa allowed just one extra-base hit while fanning five Na Alii. She walked three in her 11th win of the season.
"I just threw fastballs all day," said Kepa, who toyed with the outside corner from the start. Kalaheo's improved defense showed on an overcast but dry afternoon at Aikahi Park. The last time Kalaheo met Aiea, the Mustangs committed several errors and struggled to a 7-4 win.
"This year, we have a really good team, really talented. We've worked together really well," said Kepa. The fireballer expected a league title, but won't predict her team's fate at states. "I want to win. I think we can win, but I'm not putting anything out there."
Coach Alan Cofran has enjoyed the perfect season thus far.
"It's the seniors' year. They gave it their all and took all the underclassmen along," he said of the six 12th-graders. "It's true we have a good team. You can say you can do it, but Aiea's a good team, too. Nothing is guaranteed."
Aiea may lament the loss, but will enter the state tourney, as well.
"We need to keep our heads up high," first-year coach Tracie Koide said. "Today, Kalaheo just hit the ball, hit the ball hard. Overall, though, I'm still proud of our team."
Kalaheo, which plays all home games on the lush grass of Aikahi Park, pounded 15 hits off Aiea hurler Ashley Sarch. Lily Cabral went 3-for-4 to help spark the Kalaheo offense.
Kepa got the onslaught started with a two-run single in the first inning. Cabral followed with a single to center that brought in another run. Kalaheo led 4-0 after one frame.
The Mustangs struck again in the fourth with three runs. Kaliko Serrao socked an RBI single before a throwing error by Aiea allowed two more runs to cross the plate. Kalaheo led 7-0 and Kepa cruised to the finish.
At Aikahi Park
Ashley Sarch and Sasha Andrade. Keliko Kepa and Kaliko Serrao. W--Kepa. L--Sarch.
Leading hitters--Kalh: Kepa 3-3, 2 RBIs, 2 runs; Lily Cabral 3-4; Katie Lintz 2-3; Kealohi Aweau 2-3.