Under a persistent rain, Kamehameha held a hitting parade at Konawaena’s expense in Game 1 of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division II championship series.
The Warriors banged out 14 hits and posted an 11-1 five-inning TKO victory against the Wildcats on Friday at Waiakea’s field, which was in better shape than UHH’s waterlogged softball stadium.
Kamehameha (11-2) and Kona (8-4-1) meet for Game 2 at 9 a.m. today at Waiakea. If necessary, Game 3 will be held at 1 p.m. in the best-of-three series.
The last-minute venue change did little to slow down the Warriors, who timed and tagged Kona starter Shyla Victor’s pitches. No one struck out against Victor, who went four innings, or reliever Teizha Kaluna, who pitched an inning.
Everyone in the lineup had a good day, contributing a run scored, hit or RBI. Kamehameha’s No. 9 hitter Kaui Aguiar batted 2 for 3 with three RBIs. Kiarra Lincoln and Kekai Wong Yuen each went 2 for 4 with an RBI, and Gayla Ha-Cabebe and Makena Wagner each batted 2 for 3 with an RBI and Samantha Simmons was 2 for 2 with an RBI.
“I was really happy I got that first hit and my confidence grew,” Aguiar said. “Getting my confidence back was the key to hitting. We were all serious for this game, but we know we have to have fun, too.
“It’s nice to have a lot of support from the team on and off the field. What I liked is if we made a mistake, we picked each other back up.”
Meanwhile, Kamehameha ace Mykala Tokunaga was a shade below spectacular with a six-hitter. She allowed a run, walked one and whiffed four.
The sophomore right-hander had only brief moments of trouble. She escaped a no out, bases-loaded pickle in the first inning, and gave up her lone run in the third when Bethany Batagan singled and later scored on Syleesia Jose’s triple.
Other than that, Tokunaga stuffed the Kona offense with high heat, mainly throwing an upper-strike zone fastball that produced eight flyouts. She recorded just two groundouts, saving her fielders the inconvenience of throwing a slippery yellow ball.
“I threw my high fastball. I didn’t have to throw my riser,” Tokunaga said. “My high fastball worked. Our hitting was good and my defense was solid and that helped me. For the past several weeks, we’ve worked on our hitting.”
The left-handed hitting Batagan went 3 for 3, slapping singles to the opposite field. No one else paired hits for Kona.
Victor went four innings in the loss. She gave up nine runs on 12 hits and three walks. Kaluna surrendered a run on two hits and a walk.
Aguiar highlighted a three-run second inning with a two-run single, turning over the lineup time and again. And the Warriors also employed coach Gary Ahu’s aggressive base-running strategy, going 5 for 5 on steal attempts.
The Warriors also capitalized when given an inch. They turned four walks into three runs, but, by far, their hitting did far more damage.
Konawaena 001 00 — 1 6 0
Kamehameha 031 52 — 11 14 2