When Hilo needed a timely clutch hit, the heart of its batting order — No. 2 batter Reisha Hoopii-Haslam, No. 3 hitter Shalyn Guthier and cleanup batter Moana Pinner — delivered against Waiakea in Game 1 of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division I championship series.
Behind their combined 11 RBIs, the Vikings prevailed against the Warriors 16-10 on Friday at Waiakea’s softball field, where a surplus of basehits and errors was shared between the two crosstown rivals.
Hilo (13-0) and Waiakea (9-4) meet for Game 2 at 11 a.m. today at Waiakea. If necessary, Game 3 will be held at 3 p.m. in the best-of-three series.
It was a contrast of pitching styles between Hilo ace Aliesa Kaneshiro, a hard-throwing right-hander, and Waiakea ace Alyssa Hara, a soft-tossing righty, who relies on guile as much as her counterpart banks on premium velocity.
Both pitchers had better pitching lines. The offenses were in a groove, the defenses not so much. The Vikings committed five errors, which led to three unearned runs. The Warriors had two errors, which led to two unearned runs.
Kaneshiro went the distance in the win. In seven innings, she allowed 10 runs on 15 hits and five walks, and whiffed just three.
In five innings, Hara gave up 14 runs on 13 hits an four walks, and struck out one. Taylor Nishimura pitched an inning of two-run relief. She yielded two hits and two walks.
Hoopii-Haslam batted 2 for 5 with four RBIs, Guthier 2 for 3 with three RBIs, and Pinner 2 for 4 with four RBIs to lead Hilo’s offensive charge.
Leadoff hitter Shyanne Higa-Gonsalves batted 3 for 3 and scored two runs, Kaneshiro was 2 for 4 with two RBIs, ad Amber Vaughn went 3 for 3 and scored three runs.
Hilo trailed 8-5 in the bottom of the fourth, when Hoopii-Haslam and Pinner came through with clutch hits. Hoopii-Haslam stroke a two-run single, then Guthier was intentionally walked to load the bases. Pinner brought everyone home with a three-run triple for a 10-8 lead.
An inning later, Guthier provided the Vikings with a healthy dose of breathing room with a two-run triple to cap a four-run fifth inning.
When Hara got pitches up in the strike zone, the Vikings hit her hard. Likewise, the Warriors didn’t miss when Kaneshiro threw mistakes right down the middle, except that Waiakea stranded more runners on base: nine left on, compared to Hilo’s six.
Still, up and down Waiakea’s lineup, almost everyone was a tough out. Nishimura went 3 for 4, Kristi Hirata 3 for 3, Tierra Teves 2 for 3, Skyler Thomas 3 for four while Shanell Leopoldino and Kaelee Carvalho paired hits.
However, Teves and Nishimura led the run-producing effort with two RBIs each, just not enough firepower to offset Hilo’s heart-of-the-order performance.
Waiakea 322 101 1 — 10 15 2
Hilo 320 542 x — 16 15 5