HONOKAA — In the circle, she pitched a complete game. At the plate she surprised herself by showing some power.
For Precious Palea-Enos, her 16th birthday couldn’t have been much sweeter.
Palea-Enos pitched a five-hitter, and Honokaa’s softball team pounded out six extra-base hits in beating Kohala 10-4 Tuesday in a Big Island Interscholastic Federation softball game at Honokaa’s Parks and Recreation complex.
“The best birthday ever,’’ said Palea-Enos, who had the first of the Dragons’ four triples in a five-run first inning. “We won a game we were supposed to win, I was pitching good, and I was hitting good surprisingly.’’
With its victory, Honokaa (6-3 BIIF, 10-3 overall) remained in sole possession of second place in the BIIF Division II standings — a game ahead of third-place Konawaena (5-4, 7-6). If the Dragons beat Kealakehe at home on Saturday, they can clinch a first-round bye in the BIIF Division II tournament, which begins April 23 and runs through April 27.
Honokaa hit the ball exceptionally well during a six-game winning streak the Wildcats snapped last Wednesday, silencing the Dragons’ bats in a 6-4 victory.
But it didn’t take Honokaa long to get back on track offensively, pounding out six hits — five with two outs — against the Cowgirls (3-6, 5-8) in the first inning.
Palea-Enos blasted her triple well over the head of Kohala left fielder Briana Harrison and down the left-field line to plate the Dragons’ first run, and the sophomore scored on Kaitlin Agustin’s sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Then Honokaa strung together five consecutive hits against Cowgirls starter Tiani Luga.
Zarina Hasegawa hit a sharp liner to left that took a bad hop on a charging Harrison and rolled to the fence for an inside-the-park home run. Then Jasmine Castro, Chasity Nickel, Shennon Dela Rosa and Shereena Bird had four straight singles to give Honokaa a 5-0 advantage.
The Dragons put forth the offensive performance without coach Wesley Fujimoto, who was in Hilo attending to family matters.
“That’s one thing we can almost always guarantee, our hitting,’’ Honokaa assistant coach Kiana Molina said. “Just about everybody was on fire.’’
Eight of the nine batters in the Dragons lineup hit safely, with Agustin and Chasity Nickel both going 2-for-3 with a triple. Allie Shiraki had Honokaa’s other triple, and Castro went 2-for-4 with a double.
Bird and Dela Rosa both had two RBIs, with Bird’s sacrifice fly in the fifth staking Honokaa to a 9-0 advantage.
All the while, Palea-Enos had good control, keeping the low in the strike zone and retiring 10 Kohala batters on infield pop-ups. She struck out five batters and walked three.
“It’s hard to come back from five runs down, but we tried,’’ Cowgirls coach Terrence Alcoran said. “But (Palea-Enos) was pitching good.’’
Kohala scored four unearned runs off Palea-Enos in the sixth to pull within 9-4. Kiana Alejandro-Cazimero and Sheana Cazimero highlighted the inning with RBI singles.
Alcoran said Luga experienced “dizzy spells” in the circle, forcing her to leave the game after 1 1/3 innings.
In taking the loss, Luga allowed seven runs on seven hits, striking out one and walking one.
Ashlyn Van Zandt pitched admirably in 5 2/3 innings of relief, giving up three runs on four hits. She struck out two and walked three.
Kohala 000 004 0 — 4 5 1
Honokaa 521 101 x — 10 11 2
c Konawaena 14, Hawaii Prep 4: Kaua Mitchell highlighted a six-run first inning with a two-run single, and Hero Wooching also drove in two runs in Kealakekua as the Wildcats won their third straight game.
Mitchell finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs, and Syleesia Jose went 2-for-4 with one RBI.
Anu Binney pitched four innings to get the win for Konawaena (5-4, 7-6), allowing four runs on two hits. She struck out two and walked seven.
Shyla Victor closed it out with a perfect inning, striking out two batters.
Ka Makani’s Tehane Reynolds, who walked the first three batters she faced before exiting, took the loss.
Kawena Lim-Samura followed with four innings, allowing 11 runs on eight hits. She struck out two and walked nine.
At the plate, Ranko Ono had a two-run single in the fourth inning, and Kaui Taylor added a base hit for HPA (1-9, 1-13).
Hawaii Prep 101 20 — 4 2 4
Konawaena 611 15 — 14 8 3
c Waiakea 14, Ka‘u 5: Jayla Costa hit a grand slam as part of a 10-run fourth inning in Pahala as the Warriors ended a two-game losing streak.
Alexis Anzai pitched four innings to pick up the victory, Brandi Maximo followed with a scoreless fifth, and Ariana Mareko and Elizabeth Sakamoto each added two hits for Waiakea (6-3, 9-5) in a game that ended after five innings because of the league’s 10-run rule.
The Warriors are locked into a BIIF semifinal game with Keaau on April 25, and Waiakea will be forced to hit the road in that contest with either a loss in its regular-season finale at Hilo on Saturday or a Cougars’ victory at home against Pahoa on Saturday.
Cierra Kaopua hit a two-run home run as part of her 2-for-2 day, and Shaylin Navarro took the loss for the Trojans (0-9, 0-14).
Waiakea 102 (10)1 — 14 10 Ka‘u 020 02 — 4 6