Justine Fabella usually can’t help but smile when Mililani coach Rose Antonio gives her the sign to swing away.
There were a whole lot of smiles in the Mililani dugout after Fabella, normally a slap hitter, took a full cut and launched a home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Trojans a 4-2 win over Campbell on Thursday.
"I thought it was just a fly ball to the outfield," Fabella said. "I still can’t believe it because that never happened to me before."
Fabella’s two-run homer — the junior shortstop’s first of her high school career — kept the Trojans perfect in the OIA Red West softball standings at 10-0.
A half inning earlier, emotion and momentum had jumped over to the first-base dugout when Campbell senior Summer Palipti hit a two-out, two-run homer to tie the game.
Kanani Lanias led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and was sacrificed to second. After a flyout, Fabella fell behind 1-2 before sending the next pitch well over the left-field fence.
"She’s a slapper but she hit for power and it showed," Antonio said. "We had two outs, a runner in scoring position, I told her just go up there and hit."
Fabella certainly did, putting her extra work with the bat to use.
"I was just looking for a base hit," said Fabella, who was given the ball by one of the team parents. "I’ve been practicing throwing my hands out there. I’ve been practicing hitting so much and it was about time."
The homer gave Mililani freshman Aubree Kim a complete-game victory with 10 strikeouts. She struck out the first seven batters she faced then stranded seven Campbell runners on base from the third to sixth innings.
Joen Baker gave Kim a lead in the bottom of the first with a two-run double to right center. Palipti then held the Trojans scoreless over the next five innings to keep Campbell (4-5) within reach.
Kim got the first two outs of the seventh and Campbell leadoff hitter Tiana Rosario was down to her last strike before lining a single to right field. Palipti then tied the game with her blast to left field.
"Summer kept us in the game that last at-bat," Campbell coach Michael Hermosura said. "In fact she kept us in the game from the second inning. She’s our workhorse and she’s going to be our workhorse until she goes to college."
Palipti was one strike away from sending the game into extra innings, but Fabella didn’t let it get that far.
"She made an adjustment and that was an inside pitch and she put the barrel on the ball," Hermosura said. "She’s a tough player. They’re all tough."
Summer Palipti and Kiana Ulufale. Aubree Kim and Kacie Oshiro. W–Kim. L–Palipti.
Leading hitters–Camp: Palipti HR, 2 RBIs. Mil: Justine Fabella HR, 2 RBIs, 2 runs; Joen Baker 2-3, 2b, 2 RBIs; Kylie Bello 2b.
Leilehua 7, Kapolei 2, 8 innings
The Mules scored five runs in the eighth inning to upend the Hurricanes.
Taezha-Ann Cordero and Kyla Larson. Kacee Navarro and Alecia Kupihea.
Leading hitters–Lei: Jazmyn Dangaran 4-5, run, 3 RBIs; Chenoa Au 2-4, 2 runs; Sage Akina-Sanborn 2b. Kapo: Navarro 2-3, 2b; Makana Meyers 2-4; Kanaiupuni Smith 2b.
Waipahu 5, Pearl City 3
Kayla Pedebone’s two-run single provided the tying and go-ahead runs as the Marauders rallied past the Chargers.
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Cydny Rivera, Kristin Frost (2) and Hope Casarez. AJ Miranda and Nala Viliamu, Shandell Palencia (6).
Leading hitters–PC: Joe-Ann Rapoza 2-4, 2b; Hope Casarez 2-3. Waip: Shevan Defreitas 2-3, 3b; Tali Viliamu 2-3; Kayla Pedebone 2 RBIs.
OIA RED EAST
Roosevelt 6, Castle 5
Winning pitcher Katie DeBusca cracked a two-run single with two out and two strikes in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Rough Riders over the Knights.
Asia Igafo and Taylor Ah Mook Sang. Katie DeBusca and Destiny Holani.
Leading hitters–Cas: Darrien Dacosin 2 runs. Roos: Maho Wada 2-3, HR, 2 RBIs, 3 runs; Krystle Chung 2-3, 3b; Katie DeBusca 2-4, 2 RBIs; Keala Quinlan 3b.
Kaimuki 20, Kahuku 3
Alison Pologa was 4-for-4 with three RBIs to lift the Bulldogs blitzed the Red Raiders.
Ehlen Awaya and Canny Aikau. Kulia Kaowili, Taina Aumua-Yamamoto (2), Kaowili (5) and Loke Manaaupo-Eugenio.
Leading hitters–Kaim: Alison Pologa 4-4, 2 3bs, 3 RBIs; Lani Preston 2-3, 2b, 2 RBIs; Darla Amond 3-3, 2b. Kah: Sabrina Alo 3b.
McKinley 15, Farrington 1
Tiare Sugui went 3-for-3 and drove in five runs as the Tigers routed the Governors.
W–Jillian Cristobal. L–Leani Haskell Berinobis.
Leading hitters–Farr: Tiare Sugui 3-3, 2b, 5 RBIs; Kay Tehotu 2-3, 2 runs.
Kalani 24, Anuenue 9
Kelli Muramaru and Nicole Omai combined to drive in nine of the Falcons’ 24 runs against Na Koa.
P. Silva and T. Silva. Kelli Muramaru and Nicole Omai.
W–Muramaru. L–P. Silva.
Leading hitters–Kaln: Muramaru 3-4, HR, 3b, 4 runs, 5 RBIs; Omai 4-5, 4 RBIs, 3 runs.