Hans L'Orange announced as D-II baseball site


POSTED: Monday, May 04, 2009

Some Division II baseball fans were disappointed last spring when the Wally Yonamine/HHSAA State Baseball Championships held games at Central Oahu Regional Park, a site more accustomed to hosting age-group tournaments.

This season, they might offer a standing ovation to the HHSAA. When the Division II state baseball tourney opens tomorrow, three days of games will be played at Hans L'Orange Park — the same facility used and upgraded by the Hawaii Winter Baseball league in recent years.

HHSAA executive director Keith Amemiya made the announcement during last week's board meeting. The only catch? Admission will be charged at Hans L'Orange — there was no cost at CORP.

For the history and ambience — the view of Waipahu Sugar Mill's tall stack beyond center field — watching state tourney games at Hans might be as entertaining as any site in the state.

The Division I tourney also begins tomorrow, with all games at Les Murakami Stadium.

Kaanapali beckons

When the David Ishii/HHSAA Girls State Golf Championship begins tomorrow, experienced players will play their cards close to the vest, so to speak. That's what the sometimes nasty winds at Kaanapali Golf Course can teach golfers young, old and in between.

“;We went up there for a practice round,”; said Punahou golfer Alina Ching, who placed second in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu tourney. “;I just want to keep it in the fairway.”;

Ching and ILH champ Marissa Chow have quite a bit of experience at the West Maui course, thanks to junior golf tournaments.

“;You cannot go for it,”; Chow cautioned. “;Or you'll be in trouble.”;

Defending state champion Kristina Merkle of Moanalua had her ups and downs this year, even at the OIA championship last week.

“;I wanted to break all my clubs, one by one,”; she said of her problems with the driver.

Merkle did extra work between rounds, tweaking a flaw here and there, en route to victory. If the tightness in her left shoulder is not a problem, Merkle's self-correcting approach may yield another state crown at Kaanapali.