Having earned one of the last spots in the state softball tournament, Leilehua knows a little bit about playing in survival mode.
The Mules stubbornly extended their stay in the winner’s bracket by rallying from a three-run deficit and holding off multiple threats in the late innings to pull out a 7-6 win over Kailua in nine innings yesterday in the Division I first round of the DataHouse/HHSAA State Softball Tournament at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
The Mules (8-9) edged into the tournament as the sixth seed from the Oahu Interscholastic Association and advanced to the quarterfinals to face Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion Waiakea (12-0) today at 1 p.m.
“I just told them even if we came in as the sixth seed, the records don’t count. Records are out the door already,” Leilehua coach Stacy Araki said. “We just had to believe. All week we were feeding them that, believe we can win.”
Leilehua, with just two seniors on its 12-player roster, trailed 6-3 going into the fifth inning before junior Krystin Kubo launched a two-out, three-run homer to tie the game. Mules pitcher Maegan Tupinio lived on the edge for the final three innings, but managed to escape every time.
“I believed and I knew that since we lasted this long we have a reason to be in this tournament and we wanted to show everybody,” Tupinio said. “I thought if I lose my composure I could possibly lose the game, so I wanted to just stay calm and stay focused.”
Kailua loaded the bases with one out in the seventh before Tupinio got a strikeout and a popup. The Surfriders had the winning run on third with nobody out in the eighth, but a double play helped Tupinio get out of the jam.
at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
at Central Oahu Regional Park, unless noted
In the top of the ninth, shortstop Ashley McKeown walked and Tupinio laid down a bunt and the throw to first was wild. McKeown was thrown out trying to score on the play, but Tupinio got into third safely. Leilehua freshman Chenoa Au then lined a 2-2 pitch into center to score Tupinio with the go-ahead run.
“She might be one of the smallest girls on our team, but she has one of the biggest hearts,” Tupinio said of Au, a 4-foot-10 second baseman.
Kailua threatened again in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases again with two out. But McKeown gloved Toni Damo-Agcaoili’s grounder up the middle and dove to tag second base for a game-ending force out.
Leilehua moved on in the bracket despite committing nine errors and twice came back from deficits. It trailed 3-1 after the first inning and strung together three two-out hits in the third. The Mules tied the game on an RBI single by Jasmine Villegas, followed by a double by Kubo, who came through with another game-tying hit with her home run to left-center in her next plate appearance.
Buoyed by the rallies, Tupinio said she “just started playing like it was the end of the world. I was so hyped up.”
Meagan Tupinio and Jasmine Villegas. Shealee Koki and Sharla Kumai-Farrell. W–Tupinio. L–Koki.
Leading hitters–Lei: Chenoa Au, 2-5, RBI; Jazmyn Dangoran, 3-5, 2b, RBI, 2 runs; Jasmine Villegas, 2-5, RBI, 2 runs; Krystin Kubo, 2-4, 2b, HR, 4 RBIs. Kail: Destinee Chang, 2-4, RBI, 2 runs; Kumai-Farrell, 2-5, RBI; Lindsey Farley, 2-4.
Castle 10, Punahou 9
Leisha Liilii’s RBI double off the left-field fence in the top of the sixth inning was the decisive blow in a see-saw battle and Liilii got out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh as the Knights advanced to face fourth-seeded Lahainaluna today.
Castle took a 2-1 lead into the third inning before Jaci Young gave Punahou the lead with a three-run homer to center field. Mysha Sataraka added a two-run homer to right in the fourth to give the Buffanblu a 6-2 lead.
The Knights battled back with five runs in the fifth, taking the lead when an illegal pitch allowed Alana Igafo to score from third. Punahou jumped back ahead in the bottom of the inning on Vanessa Va’a’s two-run single.
Castle tied the game in the sixth on Roblyn Silva’s fielder’s choice grounder. Liilii’s double then gave Castle a 9-8 lead. The Knights added an insurance run when Silva scored on a wild pitch.
Punahou loaded the bases with two out in the seventh and Kylie Popovich drew a walk to bring the Buffanblu within one. But Liilii struck out Sataraka to end the game.
Maycee Moe, Leisha Liilii (4) and Brooke Kaululaau. Jaci Young, Tai-Manu Olevao (5) and Kayla Shimoda. W–Liilii. L–Manu-Olevao.
Leading hitters–Castle:Brittany Hawn, 2-4, 3 runs; Liilii, 2-4, 2b, 3 RBIs. Punahou: Reina Furuya, 2-4, 2b; Kylie Popovich, 2b, RBI; Mysha Sataraka, HR, 2 RBIs; Shimoda, 3b, RBI; Young, HR, 3 RBIs; Kaylin Okuma, 3-4; Vanessa Va’a, 2 RBIs;
Kapolei 12, Kealakehe 2,
Mikela Manewa went 3-for-3 including a double as the Hurricanes routed the Waveriders in five innings. Winona Pauline homered and drove in four for Kapolei.
Kihani Kahananui, Ashley Isiaki (3), Kiana Mattos (5) and Ciana Matsuoka, Nani Haleamau (5). Winona Pauline and Briana Tovio-Asato. W–Pauline. L–Kahananui.
Leading hitters–Kea: Brooke Rivera 1-2, RBI. Kapo: Pauline 2-4, HR, 4 RBIs; Mikela Manewa 3-3, 2b, 2 RBIs; Tovio-Asato 2-3, 2b, RBI; Ashalyn Umiamaka 2-3, RBI; Dorian Acierto 1-3, RBI.
Baldwin 4, Mililani 3
Trailing 3-0 going into the bottom of the seventh, the Bears rallied for four runs to advance to face second-seeded Mid-Pacific.
With two out in the seventh, Baldwin tied the game on a two-run single by Skylynne Ellazar. Kaitlyn Watanabe reached on an error that allowed Ellazar to advance to third. Kylie-Rose Dickson then bounced a single over the first baseman and into right field to score Ellazar with the winning run.
Alysia Maddison and Kacie Oshiro. Kaitlyn Watanabe and Sarah Abe. W–Watanabe. L–Maddison.
Leading hitters–Mil: Toni Baysa 2-2, 2b; Joen Baker HR. Bald: Kylie-Rose Dickson 2-3, RBI; Kaitlin Awai 2-3, 2b; Tayler Shimizu 2-3.
Kalaheo 10, Molokai 7
Shanez Lono batted 2-for-4 with three runs scored, and Teone Faley-Mahoe and Shauna Perry both scored twice as the Mustangs held off the Farmers.
Jasmine Borden and Larriley Rawlins. Sarah Fitzherbert and Tiffany Harada. W–Fitzherbert. L–Borden.
Leading hitters–Mol: Natalia Levi 3-4; Tyra Reyes-Garces 2b; Amanda Venegas Malaiwi 2 runs; Myla Maliu-Calairo 2 runs. Kalh: Shanez Lono 2-4, 3 runs; Teone Farley-Mahoe 2 runs; Shauna Perry 2 runs.
St. Francis 10, Honokaa 6
Brooke Langsi pitched 52/3 innings of scoreless relief and Nalani Antonio hit a go-ahead RBI single in the fifth as the Saints rallied to beat the Dragons.
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Chelsea Requelman and Huali Alpiche; Tiffany Trantham, Brooke Langsi (2) and Ashley Kahapea Wagner. W–Langsi . L–Requelman.
Leading hitters–Hono: Jacielyn Huddy-Mendoza 2b; Hailey Paglinawan 2-3. StF: Kelcee Santos 3b, 3 runs; Nalani Antonio 2-4, 2 RBIs; Wagner 2 RBIs; Rachel Carlos 2-4, 2b; Kelsie Hee 2 runs; Britney Paranada 2-3; Shailah Fernandez 3-4, 2b, 2 runs.
Waipahu 15, Kohala 0,
Annjhanee Miranda scattered seven hits, Harlee Aquino drove in three runs, and Angi Sakamoto and Tammy Viliamu both scored three times as the Marauders beat the Cowgirls.
Annjhanee Miranda and Angi Sakamoto. Chyler Imai and Tahjra Alcoran. W–Miranda. L–Imai.
Leading hitters–Waip: Sakamoto 3-4, 3b, 3 runs; Harlee Aquino 2-2, 3 RBIs; Tammy Viliamu 3-4, 2 2bs, 3 runs; Chelsea Sanchez-Columbini 2-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs. Koh: none.
Waialua 7, Hana 1
Karina Bayudan pitched a six-hitter, and Charee Wong and Alyssiah Hernandez both batted 3-for-3 as the Bulldogs beat the Dragons.
Jy-Len Ho’opai and Shalen Brae Ho’opai; Karina Bayudan and Alyssiah Hernandez. W–Bayudan. L–Jy-Len Ho’opai.
Leading hitters–Hana: Jy-Len Ho’opai 2-3, 2b; Makamae Smith 2b; Jasmine Oda 2-3; Waial: Althia Dicion 2b; Charee Wong 3-3, 2b, 3 runs, 2 RBIs; Hernandez 3-3, 3b, 3 RBIs; Chelsey Souza 2b.