Kailua and Kamehameha
battle for state title again

The Surfriders' Kessell and
the Warriors' Peiler pitch
their teams into the final

By Cindy Luis

Perhaps two consecutive perfect games might be a little much to ask for. But Courtney Kessell was as close as one could get in last night's semifinal of the Chevron State Softball Championships.

The sophomore pitcher for Kailua followed up her perfect game in Thursday's quarterfinal with a one-hitter, striking out what is believed to be a state tournament record 17, in a 13-0 rout of Waiakea at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.

The Surfriders (15-0), seeking a record 10th title, advance to tonight's championship game. For a second consecutive year, Kailua will take on Kamehameha (17-2).

The defending state champion Warriors used a three-run fifth and a two-hit performance by pitcher Brandi Peiler to drop Mililani 3-0.

The Trojans (14-2) face Waiakea (11-3) for third place at 6 p.m.

Today's final day opens with the consolation championship at 4 p.m. between Leilehua (10-6) and Castle (11-4).

Baldwin (15-4) and Lahainaluna (16-5) were to play for fifth place, but the two neighbor island teams decided to go home today as scheduled. The Bears and Lunas will share fifth place.

Kailua 13, Waiakea 0: Kailua coach Bernard Victor said he didn't care who his team faced today.

"We won't do anything special," said Victor. "We just need to play our own game. I just hope our bats are working tomorrow."

Kailua banged out 23 hits, a total believed to be a state tourney record. Kessell, who has 26 strikeouts in two games, will start in tonight's title game.

The Surfriders got all the runs they needed in the top of the first when designated hitter Kamaile Hughes did her job. With two outs and Tanisha Milca at second, the sophomore drilled a 1-0 pitch over the left-center fence some 230 feet away to give Kailua a 2-0 lead.

The Surfriders had nine of their hits in sending 11 batters to the plate in the six-run fourth, highlighted by Danielle Young's two-run double.

"If our bats are like that and I'm pitching like I have been, I think we can win it," said Kessell, the losing pitcher in last year's title game won by Kamehameha, 4-0. "You could say there's some motivation (after last year). Hopefully, I'll get some sleep tonight and be ready for tomorrow."

Kessell gave the Waiakea batters nightmares with her riser. She struck out the side in the first three innings as well as the fifth and sixth. In the third, all nine pitches were strikes.

The only blemish came in the fourth when Warriors second baseman Laine Shikuma beat out a low throw from Cienna Costa to Rusty Ann Borges. The play could have easily been scored an error.

"She was really on and our girls were having fun just watching the ball go past," said Waiakea coach Charlene Manu. "The first time we celebrated was when we got a foul ball off her. It was 'Wow, I touched the ball.'

"Our players needed to see something they hadn't seen and they did; the No. 1 team in the league. We made the top four for the first time and we know what we have to do to go one step further."

Manu was impressed by the way Kailua hit one through nine, and even the reserves. Of the 15 players Victor used, all but two had at least one hit.

Kamehameha 3, Mililani 0: Pinch hitter Emoani Snow's bases-loaded double provided all of the scoring, giving the Warriors a shot at their eighth state title.

It had been quite a pitcher's duel between Kamehameha's Peiler and Mililani's Miki Asamura. Neither team had a runner get past first, with Peiler giving up three walks and Asamura giving up two singles and a walk through four innings.

The Warriors broke through in the fifth, loading the bases on a walk, an error and a hit batter. Snow's double over short rolled all the way to the wall, allowing Sharee Fonoti, Kaulana Gould and Lena Nahale to score.

"We just felt that Emi would be on the one to do it for us," said Kamehameha coach Ty Sing Chow of his hunch to sub out sophomore Lauae Chang in the nine spot for junior Snow. "She'd been hitting well in practice and has good size. We were just hoping for a long fly ball, a sacrifice, that would give us one run.

"Until the fifth, we were thinking extra innings. Brandi was pitching well, but we could also have used Kate Robinson."

Sing Chow said he wouldn't decide until later today who would start in the title game, Peiler or Robinson.

Peiler didn't give up a hit until the top of the seventh, a leadoff single to Asamura. One out later, Sandy Nakamura singled, but Asamura overran second and got caught in a rundown for the second out.

Peiler picked up her 10th strikeout by catching pinch hitter Dana Lee looking to end the game. Asamura finished with a three-hitter with two walks and no strikeouts.

HHSAA Championships


All games at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
Consolation: Leilehua vs. Castle, 4 p.m.
Fifth place: Lahainaluna vs. Baldwin, ccd.
Third place: Waiakea vs. Mililani, 6 p.m.
Championship: Kailua vs. Kamehameha, 8 p.m.


Kailua 13, Waiakea 0
Kailua (15-0) 201 600 4 -- 13 23 0
Waiakea (11-3) 000 000 0 -- 0 1 1
Leading hitters -- Kailua: Tanisha Milca 3-5, RBI; Kamaile Hughes 2-2, 2-run HR, 3RBIs; Kainoa Hughes 2-2; Pikake Choy Foo 2-2; Courtney Kessell 2-4, 2b, RBI; Alisha Vegas 2-2; Cienna Costa 2-2; Danielle Young 1-2, 2b, 2RBIs.
Courtney Kessel and Kainoa Hughes, Erin Guerrero (4). Elise DuPonte and Jenna Yana gi. WP -- Kessell.

Kamehameha 3, Mililani 0
Mililani (14-2) 000 000 0 -- 0 2 1
Kamehameha (17-2) 000 030 X -- 3 3 0
Leading hitters -- KS: Emoani Snow 2B, 3 RBI
Miki Asamura and Erika Au. Brandi Peiler and Kaulana Gould. WP -- Peiler

Castle 7, Hilo 1
Castle (11-4) 002 012 2 -- 7 10 7
Hilo (10-3) 100 000 0 -- 1 4 3
Leading hitters -- Castle: Anu Young 2-4, 2b.
Lia Pedrina and Any Young. Jessica Moniz and Kristine Mihara. WP -- Pedrina.

Lahainaluna 4, Waimea 2
Lahainaluna (16-5) 000 003 1 -- 4 7 5
Waimea (10-4) 001 001 0 -- 2 4 4
Leading hitters -- Lahainaluna: Jessica Maielua 2-4; Tiffany Nava 2-4, 3b, RBI; Kelsi Fushikoshi 2-4. Waimea: Kodi Oyama 2-3.
Tiara Kukahiko and Tasha Pagdilao. Lynette Perreira and Kodi Oyama. WP -- Kukahiko.

Baldwin 7, Kapolei 4
Baldwin (15-4) 000 002 5 -- 7 7 1
Kapolei (12-5) 003 010 0 -- 4 5 6
Leading hitters -- Baldwin: Zoie Sevilla 2-3; Kristi Ah yen 2-4, 2b, 2RBIs. Kapolei: Malamaisaua Manuma 2-3, 2b; Austi Paris 2-3, RBI.

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