Sunday | August 20, 2017
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RBI World Series: Cameros, Nobu Yamauchi scratch out win to reach semis

Coach Tracy Miyashiro kept asking Jessica Cameros if she was OK, and each time he got the same answer: I’m fine.

Yet all the while during Cameros’ ironwoman performance, Nobu Yamauchi couldn’t buy a hit, much less a run.

Finally, it stole one.

Moana Pinner laid down an impromptu suicide squeeze bunt Wednesday, at long last breaking a scoreless tie, and Cameros’ 11-inning tour de force carried the Hilo-based softball team into the RBI World Series semifinals in Cincinnati with a 1-0 victory against Hoboken, N.J.

“I asked her about four times how she was doing,” Miyashiro said. “If you’re feeling good, keep going girl. Go ahead.”

Armed with a lead, Cameros, a Kamehameha senior, allowed two runners to reach in the bottom of the 11th. With Kamehameha junior Brooke Baptiste ready to enter the circle, Cameros ended the game with a strikeout, lifting Nobu Yamauchi into a game against St. Louis at 3:30 a.m. Thursday, with the winner reaching Friday’s championship game.

“She spotted her pitches very well and kept them off-balance,” Miyashiro said. “She did a hell of a job.”

Kawehi Ili, who will start her freshman year at Kamehameha once she gets back to the Big Island, walked to lead off the top of the 11th and made her way to third with one out. After watching his team squander previous opportunities with runners in scoring position, Miyashiro let Pinner swing away at one pitch before making the call. He told Ili to sprint toward home with the pitch.

Pinner, a slugging 2017 Hilo High graduate, was an unlikely candidate to lay down a bunt.

“I told her whatever pitch you get, you have to get the ball down,” Miyashiro said. “She put it down beautifully.”

St. Louis might have done Nobu Yamauchi a favor in its quarterfinal by eliminating Cleveland and ace Andrea Scali, who no-hit Nobu Yamauchi for the second time Monday. St Louis, from what Miyashiro has heard, has an imposing lineup in the Nos. 2-4 spots.

In a meaningless game earlier Wednesday, Nobu Yamauchi lost to Puerto Rico 5-2, finishing pool play 1-3.

It’s the second game that everyone will remember.

“Nothing like I’ve ever experienced,” 2017 Waiakea graduate Skylar Thomas said. “It was nerve-wracking and intense.”


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