BIIF softball: Tokunaga powers Kamehameha past Kealakehe 15-4
KEAAU — Kamehameha pitcher Mykala Tokunaga took a batted ball off her shin, quickly found the softball and then stepped on her shoelace as she threw to first to record an out.
“It was so embarrassing, I wanted to cry,” she said.
At the plate, the sophomore found herself swinging at a pitch she didn’t want to, sending it foul.
“Everything weird is happening to me today,” she said.
Those few awkward moments aside, just about everything else went right Tuesday for Tokunaga and the Warriors, who defeated Kealakehe 15-4 at their home field.
The two-time Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion Warriors (2-1) had a week to think about a 2-1 loss to Konawaena on March 11, and sophomore catcher Kekai Wong Yuen said Kamehameha was “for sure” ready to attack the ball after its time off.
“We did more team bonding, trying to correct what we did wrong,” said Wong Yuen, who doubled and tripled to finish with three RBIs. “To see our weaknesses and try to strengthen them as much as possible.
“I think we just weren’t playing as a team that day. We were all on different pages. We went over how we have to work together and how we have to support each other. Cooperation is really important.”
The Warriors collected 13 hits in the 4 1/2-inning TKO victory. Five went for extra bases. Every batter in the starting lineup either scored a run or drove one in.
Tokunaga allowed only two hits through the first four innings before the Waveriders (2-2) scored three times in the fifth. At the plate, she was 3 for 3 with two doubles and three RBIs.
The Warriors scored seven runs in the first two innings against freshman Kiara Cantiberos, the first of four Kealakehe pitchers.
“Kamehameha hit the ball well,” Kealakehe coach Wesley Takimoto said. “Our pitchers threw the ball too high over the plate.”
During a six-run third, Gayla Ha-Cabebe drove in two runs with a single and Makena Wagner ripped an RBI double. Ha-Cabebe finished with three RBIs, and Wagner was 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Samantha Simmons was 2 for 3.
Kamehameha not only had a week off, but its practice time was limited by rain.
“Coached talked about the game we lost and we went over all the stuff that we could have done,” Tokunaga said. “Those talks that we had while it was raining kind of prepared us.”
Kealakehe did a good job making contact against the hard-throwing right-hander, who struck out just two, while hitting one batter and walking two more.
Kaleanani Anakalea-Haleamau singled and drove in two runs for the Waveriders, Tavian Taketa was 2 for 2 with a walk and Leisha Nakagawa came through with a run-scoring single.
Takimoto, whose program is three seasons removed from its last trip to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association tournament, started only one senior Tuesday. He’s mindful that all four teams in Division I will qualify for the playoffs. The Waveriders visit crosstown rival Konawaena on Friday.
“We’re still trying to find ourselves,” he said. “Our bats came late today, so we’re happy about that.”
Kealakehe 100 03 — 4 5 2
Kamehameha 346 2x — 15 13 1
Keaau 14, Konawaena 1
Shaniya Kamakea-Wong finished 3 for 3 with four RBIs as the host Cougars ran their record to 4-0.
Kanoelani Maka and Kiana Akana each drove in two runs as Keaau needed only five hits in the TKO victory.
Lohi Kamakea-Wong struck out seven in 4 2/3 innings to get the victory. She walked three and allowed a run and two hits.
Jayssa Grace walked four batters in taking the loss for the Wildcats (2-2). In 2 1/3 innings, she yielded two hits, five runs — three earned — with a strikeout.
Konawaena 000 1 0 — 1 2 1
Keaau 284 0x —14 5 3
Hilo 6, Honokaa 1
Aliesa Kaneshiro struck out five in a two-hitter to lift the Vikings at Walter Victor Stadium
Shyanne Higa-Gonsalves was 2 for 4 with two RBIs for Hilo (4-0), and Kaneshiro had a hit and two RBIs. In the circle, she walked four.
Kayla Kalauli went the distance in the loss for the Dragons (1-3), walking five and striking out four.
Kayla Requelman hit an RBI single in the sixth for Honokaa, and Allie Shiraki accounted for her team’s other hit.
Honokaa 000 001 0 — 1 2 3
Hilo 022 002 x —6 7 0
Kohala 24, Ka‘u 2
Setsuko Kimura ripped a three-run home run and Kyrah Sol cleared the bases with a triple as the Cowgirls poured it on Pahala.
Ashlyn Van Zandt was the winning pitcher for Kohala (2-3), while Shylee Tamura took the loss for the Trojans (0-2).
Ka’u 200 — 2
By Stephens Media Hawaii sources