POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, May 7, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 2:25 a.m. HST, May 7, 2011
Pac-Five scored via the long ball and in the short game.
In the end, it added up to a second consecutive Division II state softball championship for the Wolfpack.
Pac-Five returned seven starters from the lineup that prevailed in last year's title game. And the experience contributed to a familiar result as the top-seeded Wolfpack defeated Kahuku 5-0 in the D-II final of the DataHouse/HHSAA State Softball Championship at blustery Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
"The experience they had last year helped a lot," Pac-Five coach Cecil Hasegawa said. "They set the tone for the younger players on how to play the game and what to expect in these conditions.
"I'm going to miss my three seniors. We'll have to build again."
Pac-Five entered the tournament at 8-9 following the Interscholastic League of Honolulu season and swept through the bracket to earn the program's fourth championship and became the first back-to-back winner in the D-II tournament's eight-year history.
Hasegawa will have a solid foundation to build on, with key returnees again slated to return throughout the lineup and in the circle.
Pac-Five leadoff hitter Quirena Natividad set the pace at the top of the lineup, using her speed to help manufacture two runs, including one on Cassandra Koja's squeeze bunt. Aja Keyes provided the power with a home run to lead off the third inning.
"We'd been taking it every other year and we got it two years consecutive and we're all young, so hopefully they can take it next year and keep it going," Keyes said.
Wolfpack pitcher Sofia Luczak savored titles as a freshman and sophomore and held Kahuku to two hits, struck out eight and walked three in posting her third win of the week and her second straight shutout.
"She came a long way," Hasegawa said. "She was the backup pitcher to Sheridan Mahelona last year and she had to fill those shoes and she did an outstanding job."
Hasegawa put his trust in Koja, a junior, to call pitches for Luczak and the combination helped keep Kahuku off balance throughout the evening.
"It was different last year because I was playing right field," said Luczak, who squeezed a popup to record the game's final out. "It was a lot more stress, but it was fun."
Kahuku closed a landmark year with its first loss of the season after claiming the Oahu Interscholastic Association White title and advancing to its first state title game.
"We're extremely proud of them. They worked so hard to get here and came up a little short, we played a better ball team tonight," Kahuku coach Ed Davis said. "We've got a program that's on it's way now."
PAC-FIVE 5, KAHUKU 0
Umpires—(Plate): Clif Yaguchi. (First): George Niihei. (Second): Arthur Brun. (Third): Merton Ishida. T—2:06.
D-II ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM(selected by HHSAA staff)
1B - Aja Keys, Pac-Five
2B - Napua Ku‘uipo Aumua-Yamamoto, Kahuku
3B - Alena Ho‘okano, Pac-Five
SS - Quirena Natividad, Pac-Five
OF - Jacielyn Huddy-Mendoza, Honokaa
OF - Anu Memea, Pac-Five
OF - Kylie Nishino, Waipahu
C - Taylor Ephan, Waimea
P - Sofia Luczak, Pac-Five
P - Pitisi Tualau, Kahuku
P - Tali Viliamu, Waipahu
DP - Alyssa Jardin, Waimea
Util - Kelsie Hee, St. Francis
Util - Hailey Paglinawan, Honokaa
Most Valuable Player