Kamehameha’s Elizabeth Kia catches a popup Saturday against Konawaena
Kamehameha’s Lehua McGuire makes it safely to second base as Konawaena’s Bethany Batangan takes the throw.
By KEVIN JAKAHI
Tribune-Herald sports writer
KEAAU — Lehua McGuire kept getting base hits and her contagious hitting spread to the rest of the Kamehameha softball team, which turned into an offensive juggernaut on Saturday, adding another dimension to its impressive 15-game winning streak.
She batted 4 for 4 to fuel a 16-hit parade and the Warriors thumped Konawaena 17-3 with a TKO victory to repeat as the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division II champion.
As the leadoff hitter, McGuire fulfilled her job duty. She not only got on base, but also scored four runs. The senior center fielder added an RBI double and stole three bases, highlighting the Warriors’ frenzy on the bases; they went 10 of 10 on steals.
McGuire is also very busy, spending the earlier part of her day at track and field. Luckily for her, the all-schools BIIF meet was held at the school’s Paie‘a Stadium. She competes in the 100-meter hurdles, 300 hurdles and pole vault, and has already qualified for the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state championships in each event.
But first, she and the hot-hitting Warriors (12-0 BIIF, 16-1 overall) will be going to the state tournament, which runs Tuesday-Friday at Patsy Mink Field on Maui. The Wildcats (7-5, 9-7) will accompany them as the BIIF runner-up.
“It’s special to win, especially for Liz (Kia) and Jaylen (Shiroma). They’ve been playing the game for four years,” said McGuire, who was a four-year starter at goalie for the soccer team. “We really wanted to win back-to-back. We’ve worked hard and feel we’ve accomplished something.
“The seniors are supposed to be leaders on the team. It’s been a great experience to see the players grow into the players they are now.”
McGuire came out for the softball team as a junior while first baseman Kia and third baseman Shiroma were starters as freshmen in 2010. The other senior starters are shortstop Namele Naipo-Arsiga, outfielder Cody Kualii and Janell Cameros.
Kamehameha freshman Mykala Tokunaga scattered five hits for the complete-game win. She walked three, struck out seven and showed her toughness after surrendering a three-run homer to Kaua Mitchell in the first inning.
The Wildcats had chance to scores — a runner on third with no outs in the second, and two in scoring position with two outs in the fourth. But each time, Tokunaga stepped on that threat and smothered it.
Meanwhile, all of the Warriors did something, getting at least a hit, run or RBI.
Freshman catcher Kekai Wong Yuen was 2 for 3 with three RBIs, junior second baseman Gayla Ha-Cabebe went 2 for 4 with three RBIs, Kia was 2 for 3 with an RBI. Kualii was perfect, 3 for 3 with two RBIs.
Shyla Victor took the loss. She walked two and struck out none. She doesn’t throw hard, and when the Warriors squared up their bats the hits rained all over the place.
Pua Ubando was the only Wildcat to pair hits. She went 2 for 2. Mitchell batted 1 for 3 with three RBIs.
Kamehameha’s motivational fire came from a team meeting on Friday. It was a group share-talk, with each player expressing appreciation. Shiroma, who batted 1 for 3, got emotional remembering the feel-good moment.
“Liz and I have been best friends since middle school days,” Shiroma said. “She’s the best leader to lead our team with her attitude. She’s like my sister, and the talk was very inspirational. It made us cry. We feel like big sisters to the team.”
In Kamehameha’s dugout, the words “Play for family” were written on a pink piece of tape.
“We have different cliques at school, but on the field we’re one,” Kia said. “I told the girls no matter where you go in life we’ll always be family on the softball field.”
Konawaena 300 00 — 3 5 6
Kamehameha 416 6x — 17 16 0
Kohala 11, Honokaa 10: In a three-run fifth inning at Honokaa’s Parks and Recreation complex, Denae Rivera had a game-tying RBI triple, and Sheana Cazimero followed with a go-ahead run-scoring single as the Cowgirls rallied from a 10-6 deficit to stun the Dragons in the BIIF Division II third-place game.
The victory gave Kohala (7-10) the league’s final berth in the HHSAA state tournament.
Cazimero finished 3 for 5 with two RBIs while Rivera went 2 for 3 with three runs scored. Tiani Luga was 2 for 4.
Ashlyn Van Zandt went the distance to get the win. She allowed 10 hits, striking out three and walking four.
Kayla Kalauli, who pitched three innings in relief of Kaitlin Agustin, took the loss for the Dragons (11-6). She gave up two runs on four hits, striking out two and walking two.
In four innings, Agustin surrendered nine runs, but only two were earned as Kohala took advantage of five Honokaa errors to score six runs without the benefit of a hit in the second inning. Agustin struck out two and walked three.
At the plate, Agustin and Kayla Requelman both went 2 for 5 with two runs scored. Requelman drove in three runs, with her two-run double in the third giving the Dragons a 10-6 advantage.
Zarina Hasegawa, who finished 3 for 4 with four RBIs, drilled a three-run inside-the-park homer in the first inning, and Shennon Dela Rosa added two hits.
Kohala 060 230 0 — 11 8 3
Honokaa 433 000 0 — 10 11 6