It was an afternoon of coulda-beens.
What if Alex Masaquel, ‘Iolani’s cleanup hitter, had not been on a mainland trip with the Team Aloha all-star basketball team?
But the better question might be this: What if Maryknoll ace Bri Guro had not been injured for most of the season?
Guro, who missed six weeks with an injury, was at top form yesterday, scattering eight hits as the Spartans stunned No. 4 ‘Iolani 5-1 at Moiliili Field and threw the Raiders’ postseason hopes for a curve.
“This is going to be good news for Coach,” Guro said of John Uekawa, who was in Tennessee for a business trip.
“As you can tell, she makes a difference for their team,” ‘Iolani coach Chris Shimabukuro said. “She hits her spots and throws a lot of strikes. She keeps batters off balance.”
‘Iolani (4-2 second round, 12-4 overall), which had been one game behind Punahou in the second round of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu softball race, is now two games back.
“Punahou controls their destiny,” Shimabukuro said. “We realized we need to win the rest of our games to really have a shot, but we didn’t take care of our business.
“The ILH is tough. Any given day, anybody can beat anybody.”
Maryknoll, now 3-2 in the second round (7-6 overall), is back in the hunt, though all hopes hinge on an unlikely decline by Punahou.
“Our defense worked a lot better. Overall we’re stronger,” Guro said, recalling a 9-4 loss to ‘Iolani while she was out of the lineup. “My curveball worked well. I was hitting my spots.”
Guro, who suffered a broken right (pitching) hand on a hard ground ball during preseason, returned three weeks ago.
She worked her way around ‘Iolani’s prolific hitter, Kimberlee Souza, who finished 2-for-2 with two walks and barely missed on a home run on the second pitch of the game.
Ula Reis-Moniz went 3-for-4 and drove in a run.
The Raiders stranded nine baserunners as Guro let her defense go to work.
Kristin Yamasaki, who had filled in on the mound during Guro’s absence, was a vacuum at third base.
“We hit some balls hard and they made some good plays,” Shimabukuro said, noting Yamasaki, freshman second baseman Erica Inagaki and center fielder Jessica Guillermo. “They all played well.”
The Raiders pounced on Guro early.
Souza’s long blast to right center caromed off the fence for a leadoff double, and she came in to score on a single to right by Reis-Moniz.
Maryknoll responded with four runs in the bottom of the first off ‘Iolani starter Nalani Taniguchi.
A throwing error allowed Kori Nishitomi to score from second base on a sacrifice bunt. Carol Ann Toyama drove in a run with a single, and Guillermo doubled. Toyama came home on a botched throw to third. Yamasaki later singled up the middle, bringing Guillermo home for a 4-1 Spartans lead.
Guro was in a comfort zone after that, teasing the Raiders with pitches on the outside corner.
‘Iolani had runners in scoring position in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings, only to come up empty.
In the fifth, Spartans shortstop Nishitomi came up with a double play on a grounder up the middle by speedy Lahela Usui to help quell a threat. Guro got the first two outs of the top of the sixth, then allowed two singles and a walk to fill the bases. Guro induced Kaitlyn Shikada into a fly out to center, ending the inning.
Taylor Garcia-Perreira was superb in relief, allowing just one run on two hits in six innings. She struck out three and walked one.
At Moiliili Field
Nalani Taniguchi, Taylor Garcia-Perreira (2) and Kirstyn Namba; Bri Guro and Carol Ann Toyama. W–Guro. L–Taniguchi.
Leading hitters–Iol: Ula Reis-Moniz 3-4, RBI; Kimberlee Souza 2-2, 2b, run. Mar: Kori Nishitomi 2-3, 2b, 2 runs; Guro 2-3.
No. 3 Punahou 21, Pac-West 5
Vanessa Va’a was 3-for-4 with six RBIs as the Buffanblu overwhelmed Pac-West.
Brandy Okimoto, Brittany Suckoll (5) and K. Fleming; Kacie Kiyuna, Tai Manu-Olevao (4) and Alexis deFries, Kayla Shimoda (4). W–Kiyuna. L–Okimoto.
Leading hitters–Pun: Reina Furuya 3-3; Kylie Popovich 2-3, 3b; Vanessa Va’a 3-4, 2 2bs, 6 RBIs; Kacie Kiyuna 2-2, 2b, 3b, 2 RBIs; Shimoda 3b.
No. 7 Punahou 12, Maryknoll 2
Lanson Yamamoto’s two-run single capped a seven-run, first-inning rally as the Buffanblu beat the Spartans.
At Central Oahu Regional Park
Arron Tom, Matthew Yap (1), Justin Ushio (1), Chase Uyema (3) and David Nishiki, Spencer Young; Scott Peters, Jesse Crabtree (3), David Torigoe (4) and Kainoa Harrison, Ryan Reyes. W–Torigoe. L–Tom.
Leading hitters–Mar: Blaine Hokama 2-3, Jedd Andrade 2 RBIs. Pun: Lanson Yamamoto 2-2, 2 RBIs, run; Rick Nomura 1-2, 2b, 3 RBIs; Michael Pang 2-2, 2 2bs, run.
Pac-Five 11, Damien 7
Jordan Morimoto, Landry Kiyabu and Jared Osaki drove in two runs each as the Wolfpack beat the Monarchs.
At Central Oahu Regional Park
Ryan Ueunten, Royce Fujii (3), Landry Kiyabu (4), Brayden Yabuki (6) and Bryson Kihara; Jeremy Dela Cruz, Dean Okamura (6), Ryan Ozaki (7) and Alan Mohika. W–Kiyabu. L–Dela Cruz. S–Yabuki.
Leading hitters–P5: Ueunten 4-4, run; Reyn Sugai 2-4, RBI, 2 runs; Jordan Morimoto 2-4, 2 RBIs, run; Kiyabu 2 RBIs; Jared Osaki 2 RBIs; Kellen Abe 2-3, 2 RBIs, 2 runs; Daniel Baba 3 runs. Dam: Kamana Kealoha 3-4, 2 2bs, 4 RBIs, run; Troy Vicari 2-4, RBI, run; Dela Cruz 2-3, RBI; Justin Abe 2-3, RBI, run; Dylan Yonamine 2-3, run.
Kamehameha 10, St. Francis 0
Zack Kaohu, Anthony Boorengasser and Trey Smith combined on a one-hitter, striking out 12 over five innings, as the Warriors blanked the Saints.
At Ala Wai Community Park
|St. Francis||000 00 — 0 1 2||00||—||0||1||2|
|Kamehameha||042 4x — 10 7 0|
Shawn Baptiste and Kanoe Pelekai; Zack Kaohu, Anthony Boorengasser (3), Trey Smith (5) and Moku Kukonu, Brett Yasui. W–Kaohu. L–Baptiste.
Leading hitters–Kam: Pookela Benanua 2b, 2 RBIs; Kewby Meyer 2-2, 2b, run; Brad Nueku 2b, 2 RBIs; Kukonu 2b, RBI.