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BIIF Division II softball semifinals: Kamehameha, Sullivan power way back to finals

April 16, 2017 - 12:05am

Kamehameha made quick work of its BIIF Division II semifinal softball series, but it was 2:48 p.m. and Taylor Sullivan was out of time.

Sullivan determined it was too late to leave the Warriors’ field and get to the start of the throwing events at a BIIF track and field meet at Keaau High.

“Oh, man, I don’t think I’m going to make it,” the junior said.

She didn’t miss much else Saturday. Sullivan’s second home run in as many days and five RBIs would have to suffice for the co-captain’s heavy lifting on this day, and Kamehameha has plenty of work ahead after making the proper adjustments against Kohala ace Mikayla Kekoa and powering to a 12-2 victory for a sweep.

The five-time defending champion Warriors (14-4) will travel to face Konawaena (15-3) in a best-of-three championship series that starts Friday in Kealakekua.

“Now that I’m a captain, my teammates depend on me more this year,” Sullivan said. “In comparison to my freshman year, I depended on other players. Now that the roles have switched, I’ve kind of put it on myself to keep the team up and encourage them anyway possible.”

Including a 3-2, eight-inning victory Friday in Game 1 in which Kekoa pitched well, Sullivan hammered four extra base-hits and drove in seven runs.

Kekoa was throwing harder Saturday, and Kamehameha used her power against her, knocking her out in the fifth.

“I think we had more confidence because they saw her before and they had an idea of what to expect,” Warriors coach Akea Kiyuna said.

Standing in the third-base coach’s box, Kiyuna tells all of her players to keep their swings level, and freshman Leiloa Bustamante clearly listens. Bustamante (3 for 4) drilled a two-run home run in the third to give the Warriors a 5-0 lead, and she doubled in the first as Kamehameha scored three unearned runs thanks to two Cowgirls errors.

Sullivan was 3 for 4 with a two-run home run, RBI double and a two-run single.

“(Mikayla) is one of the best pitchers in our league,” Sullivan said. “I was really just focused on making contact, because she supplies a lot of power.”

One day after she played walk-off hero at the plate, delivering a game-winning two-out hit in the eighth, Jessica Cameros transitioned smoothly to the circle. The junior doesn’t throw as hard as Game 1 winner Brooke Baptiste, but Cameros pitched a six-hitter. Symphony Kauanoe touched her for a home run, but Cameros struck out one and walked one.

“She gave them a little bit of a different look to keep them off-balanced,” Kiyuna said.

Ousted by the Warriors for the third consecutive, the Cowgirls (12-6) didn’t play as crisply as they did Friday. Kohala scored its second run in the fourth when Jurnee Keawe singled to score Setsuko Kimura, who led off the inning with a double. Cameros wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam to preserve a 6-2 lead, and Kamehameha poured it on after that.

The BIIF was given four berths to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association tournament (May 3-6 on Oahu), up from the usual three, and the Cowgirls are making their eighth consecutive trip.

“Rough start (today) is what it is,” Kohala coach Nate Kekoa said. “We got rattled.

“We give it our best every time we can. We’ll take the next two weeks and use it to our advantage”

Kamehameha finished with 14 hits, eight against Kekoa. Leadoff batter Kiarra Lincoln tripled and scored and drove in a run with a single, Cameros was 2 for 5 with an RBI, Elexis Emmsley batted 2 for 4 and Kawai Kauahi-Raquel hit a run-scoring double.

Since Sullivan couldn’t make it to BIIF track and field a few miles down the road, she did have time to talk about the softball championship series. Konawaena routed Kamehameha 12-2 in Keaau on March 25, but Cameros pitched a shutout March 31 as the Warriors won 5-0 in Kealakekua.

“Konawaena is a really good team, but I feel really proud of my teammates and feel really good about our team going into the finals,” she said. “It should be interesting.”

Kohala 001 100 0 – 2 6 3

KS-Hawaii 302 132 1 –12 14 2

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