POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Apr 23, 2011
As the No. 2 teams from their respective divisions, West runner-up Campbell and East runner-up Kailua had something to prove.
It was especially true for Campbell, the defending state champion.
“This team is hungry,” Sabers coach David Perreira said. “They want to show everybody that it wasn’t a fluke (winning last season).”
Campbell took a big step in doing that last night, turning back Kailua 2-1. Kawehi Kahana’s two-run homer in the bottom of the first proved to be the difference in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red Division championship game.
It was the Sabers’ first OIA title since 1992.
“I honestly didn’t expect it to be this low-scoring,” Perreira said. “Both teams played awesome defense; their third baseman (Destinee Chang) really kept them in the game.
“(Pitcher) Summer (Palipti) was a catcher last year and she learned a lot behind the plate.”
With all-state pitcher Katie Manuma now throwing for Brigham Young, Palipti traded battery positions this season. Last night, the sophomore wasn’t overpowering but was very effective, trying to “just hit my spots,” Palipti said.
All the scoring came in the first inning. Kailua (11-4) took the 1-0 lead with two outs as Jana Hanawahine doubled and then scored on Sharla Kumai-Farrell’s single.
Campbell (12-3) answered quickly. Kahana got all of Shealee Koki’s 2-1 offering, driving it over the center-field fence, scoring Palipti and herself.
“I don’t know what pitch it was, but it was juice,” Kahana, the freshman catcher said. “I knew it was gone.”
As nice as winning the OIA title is, the goal is still the state championship. That Campbell won it last year as the third-place team from the OIA is encouraging to Kailua.
“We hit the ball but didn’t get the timely hits,” Surfriders coach Tamara Kaluau said, her team outhitting Campbell 6-3. “But we get to go to states, we have been for a couple of years.
“Even though it’s a loss, it’s still a win for us. We’re a young team. The team knows how to compete and we’ll keep working hard.”