Kealakehe still has to come to Hilo, but it won’t have to play the two-time defending Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion when it gets there.
Nani Anakalea-Haleamau and Leisha Nakagawa each drove in three runs Thursday and the Waveriders rallied to beat Keaau 11-9 in a Division I softball game in Kailua-Kona.
With the victory, Kealakehe (6-3) earns the third seed in the BIIF playoffs and will take on Waiakea (7-2) in an April 19 doubleheader in the best-of-three semifinals. On the same day, the Cougars (6-4) — who lost an 8-2 lead Thursday — face undefeated Hilo (9-0).
Anakalea-Haleamau finished 4 for 4 with a triple and Nakagawa hit a home run and had two hits. After scoring four times in the fourth, the Waveriders took the lead for good with a five-run fifth inning.
Kelina Palmer-Kahananui got the win with three innings of quality relief, allowing only a run and three hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Tavian Taketa worked the first four innings.
Kawailehua Deuz-Haleamau and Taketa contributed two hits apiece to Kealakehe’s 16-hit attack. Palmer-Kahananui scored three runs.
Shaniya Kamakea-Wong led Keaau, going 3 for 3 with two doubles and two RBIs. Lohi Kamakea-Wong went the distance in defeat. She didn’t walk a batter and struck out three but yielded eight earned runs. At the plate, she tripled and scored three runs with two RBIs. Rylann Hacoba crossed the plate three times.
Kealakehe hosts Hilo at 1 p.m. Saturday in regular-season finale.
Keaau 104 301 0 — 9 8 3
Kealakehe 101 450 x — 11 16 5
Kamehameha 15, Hawaii Prep 0: Mykala Tokunaga pitched four hitless innings and Kekai Wong-Yuen and Gayla Ha-Cabebe hit home runs as the Warriors clinched their third consecutive trip to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association tournament.
Wong-Yuen finished with three hits, including a solo home run, while Ha-Cabebe’s homer came with two runners aboard.
As the outright regular-season champion in Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division II, Kamehameha (7-2) will host a doubleheader against the still-to-be-determined fourth seed April 19 when the best-of-three league semifinals begin.
Kawena Lim-Samura was the losing pitcher for Ka Makani (0-7). HPA still harbors playoff aspirations, but it must hope Honokaa loses to Waiakea on Saturday leading into its game Monday at home against the Dragons.