Honokaa softball coach Wesley Fujimoto knows his team has the potential to do great things, but the Dragons’ inconsistency has at times given him fits.
“Most of the time when they have a big lead, they slack off and let the other team catch up,” Fujimoto said.
Honokaa also raced off to a big lead against Keaau Friday at Honokaa’s Parks and Recreation complex, but this time the Dragons kept their foot on the gas pedal.
Shereena Bird hit a first-inning grand slam and finished with six RBIs, and Kaitlin Agustin and Chasity Nickel added four RBIs apiece as Honokaa pounded out 16 hits to beat Keaau 23-7 in a Big Island Interscholastic Federation softball game.
The game ended after four and a half innings because of the league’s 10-run mercy rule.
“Finally, the bats came alive, and defensively, we played good,” Fujimoto said. “Today, the hitting was exceptionally good.”
After Bird’s grand slam highlighted a seven-run first inning, Nickel hit a bases-clearing double in the second, and Agustin sparked a 10-run third with a two-run single.
Bird, who went 2-for-2, and Allie Shiraki both had triples in the contest for the Dragons (3-2 BIIF, 6-2 overall).
Agustin finished 3-for-4, Kayla Requelman and Shiraki went 2-for-3, and Nickel was 2-for-4.
It was plenty of offense for junior Kayla Kalauli, who pitched the first three innings to get the win. She gave up three runs on three hits, walking seven and striking out none.
The Cougars’ Lohi Kamakea-Wong started in the circle and took the loss. In 3 1/3 innings, she allowed 16 runs on 10 hits, striking out two and walking six.
Kamakea-Wong also led Keaau (3-1, 6-3) at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.
After suffering a season-opening loss to Kamehameha on March 2, Honokaa has won six of its past seven games.
Fujimoto said a 13-12 win over perennial power Waiakea last Saturday may have given his team a confidence boost.
“I hope it doesn’t get to their head because we still have a lot of games to go,” he said.
Keaau 120 40 — 7 5 3
Honokaa 74(10) 2x — 23 16 2