By JOE FERRARO
KAPAAU — Honokaa coach Wesley Fujimoto can’t figure it out.
Time and time again, he sees the Dragons play their worst softball after being squarely in control of games. On the other side of the coin, they play their best with their backs against the wall.
“I guess they like the pressure,” Fujimoto said after Honokaa beat Kohala 12-8 in eight innings in a Big Island Interscholastic Federation contest Friday at Kamehameha Park.
Honokaa scored four runs in the top of the eighth, with Kaitlin Agustin’s RBI single plating Kayla Kalauli with the go-ahead run. On the same plate, Kayla Requelman scored on an error, and Precious Palea-Enos later added an RBI single.
Palea-Enos finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs.
“To get two people in like that after a tie game, it felt good,” Agustin said.
Honokaa (0-1 in the BIIF, 3-1 overall) led 7-6 going into the bottom of the seventh, but Kohala (0-1, 1-3) sent the contest to extra innings when Kiana Alejandro-Cazimero scored from third base on a wild pitch from Agustin, a junior who started and went 6 1/3 innings.
With runners on second and third and one out, Kalauli relieved Agustin, and the sophomore got Ashlyn Van Zandt on a foul-out to the catcher and Tiani Luga on a groundout to short to end the threat.
An inning earlier, Agustin wiggled out of similar jam, loading the bases with nobody out. But she got Tomiko Coito on a line drive to shortstop, Briana Harrison on a pop-out to short and Kyrah Sol on a flyout to center.
“We had our chances,’’ Cowgirls coach Terrence Alcoran said of his team, which also committed eight errors.
Agustin gave up eight runs — seven earned — on seven hits. She walked eight and struck out five.
Kalauli followed with 1 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and one walk to earn the win.
Honokaa gave Agustin plenty of run support early, with the Dragons taking advantage of two errors in the fourth inning to score four runs and take a 7-3 lead.
Allie Shiraki highlighted the inning with a two-run single, and Requelman added a run-scoring single.
However, Kohala tied the contest with a four-run fifth, with Kiana Alejandro-Cazimero capping the rally with a two-out, two-run single.
“They didn’t give up,’’ Alcoran said.
Alejandro-Cazimero finished 2-for-4, Van Zandt had an RBI double, and Ryah Manning contributed a run-scoring single.
Van Zandt, a sophomore, took the loss. In 7 1/3 innings she gave up 12 runs — eight earned — on 10 hits, striking out six and walking nine.
Honokaa 003 400 1 4 — 12 10 1
Kohala 201 040 1 0 — 8 9 8
• Kamehameha 7, Waiakea 6: At Keaau, Kekai Wong Yuen had three hits and Mykala Tokunaga provided the pitching to lift the private-school Warriors over the visiting Warriors.
Tokunaga and Jaylen Shiroma each added two hits for the hosts. Brandee Maximo led Waiakea with three hits and Taylor Nishimura had two.
Tokunaga picked up the win. Alexis Anzai took the loss.