Longtime coach James Hirayama has always emphasized the importance of teamwork, and for his Hilo all-stars, it made the difference in the Big Islanders beating Anaheim 10-3 in the RBI Girls Softball West Regional championship game on Sunday in Anaheim, Calif.
With the impressive win, unbeaten Hilo (5-0) claimed the title in the three-team regional and a berth in the upcoming RBI World Series in Minnesota. The eight-team tournament for players ages 19 and under will be held July 31 to Aug. 12 in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, with the softball event at the University of Minnesota.
In capturing the West Regional title on Sunday, Hilo rode the four-hit pitching of Jordyn Waracka and a balanced attack to defeat the hosts for the third time in three days.
Waracka, the sister of former UH-Hilo ace Amber Waracka, recorded the win. She struck out six and walked one while going the distance. Anaheim used only one pitcher, but she gave up 11 hits and 10 runs while taking the loss. It also didn’t help that the hosts committed seven errors.
Skyler Agrigado (double) and Gayla Ha-Cabebe (two doubles) each had three hits to lead the Hilo attack. Stacie Doi added two hits. Agrigado and Doi also had two RBIs apiece.
Hilo plated three runs in the top of the first inning, and after Anaheim responded with a pair in the bottom of the frame, the Big Islanders scored two in the second, one in the third and three in the fifth to grab a commanding 9-2 advantage. Anaheim added a solo run in the bottom of the fifth before Hilo closed scoring with a run in the sixth.
Hilo 321 031 0 — 10 11 3
Anaheim 200 010 0 — 3 4 7
RBI Juniors Baseball
c Hilo falls in final: Venice, Calif., powered past the Hilo all-stars 12-2 in a six-inning victory Sunday in the RBI Junior Boys West Regional Baseball Tournament championship game in Anaheim, Calif.
Venice finished the five-team tournament for players ages 13-15 with a perfect 5-0 record. Runner-up Hilo had a 3-2 record, with both losses coming at the hands of Venice, including an 11-1 loss on Saturday.
With the win, Venice captured a berth in the RBI Junior World Series.
Tagawa, a Hilo High standout, went three innings, allowing seven hits and eight runs — one earned — while taking the loss. Freitas-Fields, who will be a freshman this year at Waiakea, pitched the final three innings. He gave up four hits and four runs. He struck out two and walked two.
Hilo plated a run in the bottom of the fourth when Freitas-Fields cranked a shot over the center fielder’s head for a triple, then sprinted home on an error on the relay throw.
The Big Islanders added their final run in the fifth when Bino Banasan had an RBI double to slice the deficit to 10-2.
Banasan led Hilo with two hits. Freitas-Field (triple) and Noah Serrao (single) had the team’s other two hits.
Venice 431 202 — 12 11 0
Hilo 000 110 — 2 4 5
Little League Seniors
c Hilo in title game: The Hilo All-Stars beat Ewa 9-6 on Friday and then Maui on Saturday to remain the only unbeaten team in the state Little League Seniors baseball tournament at Hans L’Orange Field in Waipahu on Oahu.
Hilo (2-0) had a bye Sunday and has already clinched a berth in the championship game of the four-team, double-elimination event.
The Big Islanders will play the team coming out of Sunday’s losers bracket final at 6 p.m. today in the title contest.