HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Anuhea Yamaguchi of Campbell tagged out Shyla Pedro of Kailua at home plate in the sixth inning yesterday.
Campbell, Mililani in Red final
Kalua beat Kailua, with a little help from her championship-level, error-free defense.
Leina Kalua scattered six hits, while Gerika Pantohan drove in two runs as Campbell edged Kailua 3-1 last night to advance to the final of the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red Conference softball playoffs.
Defensive gems by centerfielder Juraishalei Murray-Thornton stymied Kailua's hopes for a comeback. Campbell (22-4 overall) improved to 13-1 in league play, and will face Mililani tonight for the OIA title. Campbell and Kailua have already sealed state-tournament berths.
The win at Central Oahu Regional Park cemented what the once-struggling Sabers already knew: They belong with the elite.
Kalua was dominating at times, but had to hold on in the sixth inning. With a 3-1 lead, she permitted three consecutive singles in the top of the frame.
"Coach said to hit my spots and keep it down," the junior right-hander said.
Kailua's cleanup hitter, Januari Santiago, sent a 3-1 pitch to deep center, where Murray-Thornton made the catch and fired a rocket to home plate. Catcher Anuhea Yamaguchi delivered a tag on courtesy runner Shyla Pedro to complete the double play.
Kalua then struck out the next batter, Jarrish Mauhili-Kaneakua, to end what could have been a big inning for the Surfriders.
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Leina Kalua threw a six-hitter last night as Campbell beat Kailua in the OIA Red softball semifinals.
In the seventh, Murray-Thornton came through again, reaching high at the center-field fence to stab a long drive by Natia Ulugaono. The senior fell over the fence but held onto the ball, and Kalua retired the final two Kailua batters to preserve the win.
Kalua struck out four and walked just one in the complete-game victory.
"I was nervous. That's the first game ever I've been nervous," she admitted.
Kalua used a diet of drops, inside and outside, along with a screwball, to keep the dangerous Surfriders off balance.
Campbell scored twice in the bottom of the second against Kailua ace Ashley-Ann Hopfe to seize momentum. Brittney Garcia grounded a single to center and advanced to third when the ball got past the center fielder. Garcia came in to score on Amber Kaulia's triple to right field.
Pantohan then singled to left, bringing home Kaulia for a 2-0 Campbell lead.
Kailua finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning. Brittany Tokunaga, who went 2-for-3 to lead the Surfriders, singled to center with two outs. Pedro, the courtesy runner, came in to score on a double to right-center by Santiago.
Ashley-Ann Hopfe (4), Krista Dumandan and Brittany Tokunaga. Leina Kalua and Anuhea Yamaguchi.
Leading hitters--Kail: Tokunaga 2-3; Camp: Brittney Garcia 2-3, double, 2 runs; Gerika Pantohan 2-2, double, 2 RBIs.
Mililani 6, Moanalua 3
Skye Virtudes belted a first-inning, three-run homer and sophomore ace Makani Duhaylonsod scattered five hits as the Trojans (12-2) reached the final.
"A lot of my outsides and insides were working a lot. The change-ups, too," Duhaylonsod said. "We kept our heads in the game and we all stuck together."
Virtudes, Mililani's fifth hitter in the lineup, walked three times. Her only hit gave the Trojans an early 3-0 lead that held up.
Moanalua pulled within 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth frame after Lea Tamura drilled a two-run single just inside first base.
Mililani responded with a single run in the top of the fifth. Kristi Oshiro reached second base on an infield error and an outfield miscue on the same play. She later came in to score on a sacrifice fly to center by Courtney Senas.
Na Menehune got within 4-3 when Britni Ronolo tripled to deep right and scored on a wild pitch.
Robinson went the distance, surrendering seven hits and walking eight. She struck out five Trojans.
Makani Duhaylonsod and Skye Virtudes. Sarah Robinson and Kawehi Chan.
Leading hitters--Mili: Celina Garces 2-3, run; Skye Virtudes 1-1, 3 BB, HR, 3 RBIs; Chanelle Senas 2-4, RBI. Moan: Britni Ronolo 2-3, triple, 2 runs; Lea Tamura 1-3 2 RBIs.
Kapolei 5, Roosevelt 2
Brittney Brackenridge doubled and drove in three runs to make a winner out of Ciara Acierto and put Kapolei into the state tournament.
The Hurricanes (7-5) who have made to at least the semifinals of the state tournament in every year of their existence and won the championship in 2004.
Roosevelt dropped to 5-7.
Waipahu 5, Castle 4
The Marauders upset the Knights to earn a third straight trip to the state tournament.
Waipahu improved to 6-6. Castle, which hasn't been to the state tournament since 2003, dropped to 7-5 after finishing the regular season in third place in the East division.