Robinson shines in all-star game
In a showdown among four outstanding hurlers, Sarah Robinson's endurance proved to be the difference.
The Moanalua senior outlasted her counterparts, firing a four-hitter to lead Team Maxima over Team Titan 6-1 in the finals of the New City Nissan Goodwill Softball Classic yesterday at Patsy Mink Central Oahu Regional Park.
Robinson struck out seven and walked none, and also drove in one of Maxima's runs with a base hit. The UH-bound right-hander led Maxima to a 4-1 record in pool play and playoff games in the two-day tournament.
The other aces in the tourney weren't as fortunate. Makani Duhaylonsod (Mililani) of Team Armada tweaked a knee in the semifinal round.
"My dad said (before the game), 'Make sure you don't get hurt,' " Robinson said.
Amber Waracka, who pitched Kamehameha to a state championship a week ago, didn't play in the Classic finals against Team Maxima. Project Graduation took a toll on the brand-new graduate.
Campbell's Breanne Patton starred for Team Quest, but that squad didn't get past the semifinals.
That left Robinson, who had plenty of help on the mound in earlier games from Krista Dumandan (Kailua), to weave her array of fastballs and breaking pitches against Team Titan.
"I just wanted to have fun with all these different people," she said. "It's cool to see their personalities and demeanor on the field. I'll never get to play with most of them again."
Robinson unintentionally provided a highlight for outgoing St. Francis pitcher Ashley Smith, who relieved Team Titan starter Annie Lariosa in the fourth inning. Robinson, who hit .525 during her senior season, went down swinging against Smith late in the game. The two had never faced each other before.
"My catcher (Anuhea Yamaguchi of Campbell) knows all the OIA girls," said Smith, who delivered three change-ups in a row.
"I was pretty shocked," Robinson said. "I waited a little on that last one, but I couldn't resist."
The four teams held practices twice before the tourney began on Sunday. Team Maxima coach Jon Berinobis (Castle) enjoyed the atmosphere.
"This is just relaxation. The girls are here to have fun, so we kept it simple," he said. "They all know what to do. They all know each other from summer leagues."
Smith, who will play at Western Oregon next season, also enjoyed the camaraderie.
"You hated them all your life, now you're playing with them. It's awesome," she said.