In Tracy Miyashiro’s eyes, softball is the beautiful game: Sometimes hitters find holes, and sometimes they don’t.
Miyashiro said Hawaii ran into the latter issue, especially in a 1-0 extra-inning defeat to the Dominican Republic, its second loss Thursday at the RBI Softball World Series in Grapevine, Texas.
“We just came out real sluggish this morning and just couldn’t hit the ball,” Miyashiro said. “Their pitchers did their job.”
Earlier, Houston held Nobu Yamauchi of the Big Island in check, winning 8-1.
“We had a few hits that were right at players,” Miyashiro said. “It’s so weird. You look at the field and how it’s set up and where players are positioned and more often than not you hit the ball right at someone. That’s why this game is so wonderful. It’s crazy, and that’s why I love it.”
If Hawaii was going to have an off day, the second day of pool play at the under-19 tournament wasn’t the worst day to have it. In falling to 1-2, Hawaii is relegated to the third seed in its bracket once the elimination round begins Saturday.
With Kamehameha junior Mykala Tokunaga and the Dominican Republic’s Cauris Rincon locked in a scoreless pitchers’ duel, Miyashiro said Hawaii had two calls go against it as it tried to scratch across a run in the top of the eighth, including a play at the plate involving Waiakea sophomore Skylar Thomas.
Kamehameha junior Kekai Wong Yuen led off with a single but was thrown out trying to steal on a play in which Miyashiro said the fielder never tagged Wong Yuen. Thomas reached second on a error but was erased trying to score when Tokunaga’s grounder was misplayed at third base.
Miyashiro said he was initially going to hold Thomas at third but decided to wave her home when the ball was bobbled in the outfield.
“It’s a game of inches,” Miyashiro said.
Pamela Falcon’s two-out single in the bottom half of the inning gave Tokunaga (7 2/3 innings, 5 hits, six walks, three strikeouts) the tough-luck loss.
The West Region champion finished with five hits against Rincon. Thomas doubled, giving her a hit in each game.
Hilo High graduate Aliesa Kaneshiro took the loss against Houston, allowing six hits and four runs (three earned) in 3 2/3 innings. She walked three before Tokunaga pitched the final 3 1/3.
“Our pitchers tried to keep us in the game,” Miyashiro said.
Houston’s Monica Montelongo went the distance and allowed six hits, two apiece by Tokunaga and Kamehameha junior Makena Wagner.
Hawaii will cross over to the other side of the bracket Friday and play Hoboken, N.J., at 8 a.m. local time and Harrisburg at 10:30 a.m.
Either team could be Hawaii’s opponent in the knockout round, so Miyashiro will use the day to gauge his team’s progress.
“We’ll find who’s hitting and who’s not,” Miyashiro said. “We’ll let all the girls get their at-bats. I need to find out who’s going to be a piece I need to win this thing.”
Houston 012 102 2 — 8 11 0
Hawaii 000 010 0 — 1 6 4
Hawaii 000 000 00 — 0 5 1
Dominican Rep. 000 000 01 — 1 5 3
National League Central
Dominican Republic 3-0
American League Central