HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Amber Waracka of Kamehameha pitched 24 innings in the state tournament and allowed only 11 hits.
Waracka rocked for Warriors
For two nights, the Mililani Trojans were a lethal hitting machine.
Thirty-six runs. A .637 batting average (44-for-67). Those kind of numbers made Mililani the top seed in the DataHouse/ HHSAA Division I State Softball Championships and a resounding favorite against Kamehameha.
The Warriors, after two games, had a batting average of .111 (6-for-54), scored a total of two runs and seemed quite beatable.
But in Kamehameha's 3-0 championship win over Mililani, the X-Factor prevailed. Amber Waracka was sensational, not just with the title on the line, but throughout the tourney. Waracka pitched 24 innings -- including a 10-inning effort against Moanalua -- struck out 44, walked only five and permitted a meager 11 hits.
She didn't allow a run.
"We wanted to play solid defense to the end. Our 'D' had some great plays," Waracka said.
Mililani (34-3-1) managed four hits against her, negated by the same wizardry that gave Kamehameha a 4-1 victory over the Mules in nonconference play two months ago.
Kamehameha's championship run took a turn for the better after a 4-3 loss to upstart Maryknoll on April 5.
"Everyone said this is only going to make us stronger and give us more confidence all the way out," right fielder Ashley Morisako said. "And it did."
It was the lone defeat in a 29-1 season.
"That loss to Maryknoll really woke us up," first-year head coach Randy Tamura said. "We realized how much we wanted it."
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Shaleese Javillo, Ashley Morisako and Dara Pagaduan celebrated Saturday after Kamehameha won the Division I state softball title by beating Mililani.
The Warriors got a lift from Jamie Millwood, who hit .703 during the regular season. She was relatively quiet until title night, going 2-for-3 against Mililani ace Makani Duhaylonsod.
"We believed in each other more this year," said center fielder Shaleese Javillo, who was 2-for-4 with a key RBI. "We knew we had the potential. In preseason, we were hitting any pitcher's ball."
Pitching coach James Millwood provided a concept of unity with a "hold the rope" theme.
"If you're hanging from a cliff, who would you trust to hold the other end of the rope?" he said.
The Warriors kept that rope and brought it to every game.
The matchup was a reunion of club players, mostly from Mililani.
"It's kind of tough to face people you know," third baseman Dara Pagaduan said. "On the field, it's the game first, then we're friends afterward."
Millwood, who teaches at Mililani, saw the game as a win-win scenario.
"They're all good players. I would've been fine no matter who won," the former Trojans football coach said. "I'm still a Mililani guy at heart."
The crown is Kamehameha's first since 2002. That year, Ty Sing Chow was coach and his niece Leo Sing Chow hurled the Warriors to success. Kamehameha now has eight state titles in softball.
Waracka wasn't the only hurler to dominate. Duhaylonsod won two of her three decisions, striking out 15 in 16 innings with one walk. The senior had an ERA of 2.19 in tourney play.
Moanalua's Sarah Robinson fanned 37 and allowed 13 hits in 27 innings. The University of Hawaii-bound senior allowed eight runs, but only three were earned for an ERA of 0.77.
Robinson also hit .692 (9-for-13), including a 2-for-4 night against Waracka.
Campbell senior Breanne Patton was also superb. Patton was 3-1 in the tourney with an ERA of 0.64. She struck out 20 in 22 innings.
Among the hitting stars was Mililani's Courtney Senas, who got on base in her first nine plate appearances. Trojans catcher Rebecca Lee had at least one hit in each game and batted .600 (6-for-10). Second baseman Kristi Oshiro also got a hit each day and finished at .444 (4-for-9).