For three innings, Brandi Smith was perfect.
The Kamehameha pitcher had powerful Punahou under control, but the Buffanblu pounced on Smith for six runs in the fourth inning and held on for a 7-5 win yesterday.
Mysha Sataraka went 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs, and Alexis DeFries swatted a three-run blast in the pivotal fourth inning to lead No. 2 Punahou (4-0) on a gusty afternoon at its home field.
It was a bittersweet return for Smith, whose father, Paul, was an assistant coach at Punahou. Paul Smith, 42, died last year, but not before he spent plenty of time with Brandy, who had an injured throwing shoulder. She spent much of her free time with her dad and the Buffanblu.
Even after the loss, she was ecstatic to see her friends. Sataraka, who added an insurance run in the fifth inning with a whistling line-drive homer through the wind, was the recipient of a big bear hug from Smith after the game.
"Coach Paul was an easy-going guy," Punahou coach Bob Makahilahila said. "Whenever we were tight, he would loosen us up. He was going to be our third-base coach this year, but he suddenly passed away after last season ended.
"Brandy’s a very special person. The girls love her. She’s like a sister to them."
Smith struck out two and walked one in a complete-game effort, spotting most pitches well.
"I know I shouldn’t, but when my (Punahou) friends come up to bat, I focus more," she said.
Punahou’s Jaycie Young went the distance for the win, issuing just one walk. The Warriors outhit the Buffanblu and committed fewer errors, but struggled in the fourth when Punahou scored six runs.
"We have to fine-tune the little things, especially on defense, that one inning they had," Warriors coach Aloha Yamaguchi said. "It seemed like they were making the same mistakes. Punahou did their job. We just had to make plays."
A busy finish to the game came after the oddest of beginnings. After Punahou third baseman Vanessa Va’a was warned by the home plate umpire for wearing a headband on her wrist after the first pitch, catcher Kayla Shimoda was ejected after the second pitch for wearing a necklace, a rule violation.
"She’s our senior captain," second baseman Raina Furuya said. "We were in a tough situation against a tough team."
Because Makahilahila had been warned once after Va’a’s faux pax, he was banished to the dugout for the remainder of the game. He did not argue the ruling.
Kamehameha took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third after a throwing error by Va’a allowed two runners in.
A pep talk from Makahilahila before the bottom of the fourth rejuvenated the Buffanblu, who scored six runs with no outs.
Reina Furuya led off the inning with a triple off the left-field fence and scored on an infield single by Sataraka. A throwing error on the same play by Misty Hoohuli allowed Nicole Tamura, who reached on a fielder’s choice earlier, to score from second and tie the game at 2-all.
Kylie Popovich, Shimoda’s replacement, followed with a bunt single. Sataraka came home from third when Popovich stole second base and the throw from home sailed away. After a bunt single by Jaycie Young, DeFries blasted a three-run homer to left center, and Punahou led 6-2.
Karen Shaver’s two-run double to center brought the Warriors within 6-4 in the fifth inning.
Sataraka answered with her solo shot to center for a 7-4 Buffanblu lead.
Kamehameha cut the lead to two runs when Garen Glackin’s infield single brought Smith home with two outs in the top of the seventh. Young then retired Kahea Taniguchi on a fly out to end the game.
Smith took it in stride and finished strong. She still misses her dad, reminiscing about his passion for the game.
"I think if he was here, on the ride home, he’d be giving me heck," she said.
|Kamehameha (1-2)||002||020||1 —||5||11||1|
|Punahou (4-0)||000||610||x —||7||6||4|
Brandi Smith and Rayna Ae. Jaycie Young and Kayla Shimoda, Kylie Popovich (1). W–Young. L–Smith.
Leading hitters–Kam: Smith 2-4, 2b, run; Misty Hoohuli 2-4, 2 2b. Pun: Mysha Sataraka 2-3, HR, 2 RBIs; Alexis DeFries 1-2, HR, 3 RBIs.
Mid-Pacific 19, Pac-West 0
Four Owls pitchers combined on a one-hitter as top-ranked Mid-Pacific scored 19 runs in the first inning en route to a mercy rule victory.
At Mid-Pacific field
Brandy Okimoto, Jessica Clanton (1) and K. Fleming. Keiki Carlos, Tori Hamura (3), Kayla Au (4), Karis Kochi (5) and Taylor Oda. W–Carlos. L–Okimoto.
Leading hitters–MPI: Ke. Carlos 2-2, 2 RBIs, 3 runs; Tasi Docktor 2-3, RBI, 2 runs; Kaydi Kochi 2-2, 2 RBI, 2 runs; Lindsey Matoi 2-2, RBI, 2 runs; Jordan Joy 2-2, 3 runs; Oda 2-3, RBI run; Ka. Kochi 2-3, 2 RBI, 2 runs.
Waipahu 17, Radford 3
The Marauders pushed nine runs across in the first inning en route to a win over the Rams in a mercy-rule game.
A. Miranda and A. Sakamoto. Wynona Sugiyama, Amanda Nicholas (1) and Raia Salanoa, Elizabeth Tuason (3). W–Miranda. L–Sugiyama.
Leading hitters–Wai: N. Vilianu, 3-4, double, triple, 3 RBIs; K. Nishino, 2-3; H. Aquino, 2-2, double, RBI. Rad: Jemory Castro, 2-3, RBI; Brayanne Moe, 2-3.
Kamehameha 5, Punahou 3
Winning pitcher Kewby Meyer was 2-for-2 with three runs scored as the Warriors upset the No. 2-ranked Buffanblu.
Hoku Botelho went 3-for-3 and drove in two runs for the Warriors. Alii Pedrina also had two hits, including a double.
Kainoa Harrison and Lanson Yamamoto had two hits each for Punahou. Losing pitcher Nathan Higa homered and drove in two runs.
At Ala Wai Park
Nathan Higa, Tyler Kanazawa (3), Peter Harris (6) and Kainoa Harrison. Kewby Meyer, Pookela Benanua (5) and Moku Kukonu. W–Meyer. L–Higa.
Leading hitters–Pun: Harrison, 2-3, double, run; Lanson Yamamoto, 2-4, double, RBI; Higa, HR, 2 RBIs. Kam: Hoku Botelho, 3-3, 2 RBIs; Meyer, 2-2, 3 runs; Alii Pedrina, 2-4, double, RBI, run.
ILH Division II Baseball
Pac-Five 11, St. Francis 1
Tyler Fujimoto struck out nine over four innings and the Wolfpack plated eight runs in the bottom of the fifth to rout the Saints.
At Central Oahu Regional Park
|St. Francis (0-2)||100||00||—||1||2||7|
Kelei Davis, Shawn Baptiste (5), Wong (5) and Cyrus Murakami, Kalei Davis. Tyler Fujimoto, Micah Witty Okaland (5) and Bryan Kihara. W–Fujimoto. L–Davis.
Leading hitters–SF: Murakami, double; Davis, double. P5: Ryan Ueunten 2-4, triple, RBI; Devyn Teruya, triple, 2 RBIs; Reyn Sugai, 3 runs.
OIA Red East
Moanalua 10, Kahuku 2
Austin Inabata clubbed a grand slam and Kamalu Kamoku was 2-for-3 with a home run to power Na Menehune.
Hekili Greydochea, Justin VanNess (5) and Sam Mamizuka. Jordan Deponte, Regan Lum (4), Nolan Kometani (6), Austyn Nagamine (7). W–Lum. L–Greydochea.
Leading hitters–Kah: none. Moan: Kamalu Kamoku, 2-3, HR, 2 RBIs; Austin Inabata, 1-2, grand slam; Lum, 2-3.
OIA White Baseball
Kaimuki 14, McKinley 1
Senior right-hander Maanoa Tau tossed a five-inning no-hitter, striking out six and walking four, and Tevin Nishiyama tripled and drove in three runs to lead the Bulldogs.
Maanoa Tau and Austin Arakaki. Brandon Kaneko, David Hong (4) and Kainoa Castillo. W–Tau. L–Kaneko.
Leading hitters–Kai: Tevin Nishiyama, triple, 3 RBIs; Dallas Reis, double, RBI; Tau, 2-2, double, RBI; Pono Carroll, double, RBI; Chevas Takasaki, 2 RBI, 2 runs; Keoki Kaiahua, 2 RBIs; Christian Kamaka, double, 2 RBIs; Shawn Kitahara, 2 runs.
Radford 10, Waialua 0
Junior right-hander Jobi Fontenot struck out eight in five scoreless innings and keyed a 10-run first-inning with a grand slam to lead the Rams over the Bulldogs.
Jobi Fontenot and Troy Evans. Christian Whittaker, Justin Tantog (2) and Kaimana Tayaba-Hatchie, Whittaker (2). W–Fontenot. L–Whittaker.
Leading hitters–Rad: Fontenot, grand slam; Joseph Mafnas, triple; Evans, triple 3 RBIs; Roscoe Kalilikane, double, RBI. Wai: Hunter Quilinderino, double.