Irimata Picks Up 100th K of Season, Throws One-Hitter as Campbell Beats Waianae for OIA Division I Title
BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED APR 23, 2023
HONOLULU — In a battle of the top two softball teams in the state of Hawai’i, it was #1 Campbell slicing up #2 Waianae, 7-0, in the OIA Division I championship game.
For the Sabers’ program, it is the eighth OIA league title and first since the 2019 campaign. Saturday’s championship also helped Campbell (13-0) remain unbeaten this season as they charge ahead into the state tournament.
Waianae (10-3) came into the night looking for the program’s first league title since the 1980’s to go along with revenge on a Campbell team that had been the only unit to best the Seariders this season.
The only obstacle standing in the way of the Seariders?
Campbell star Taryn Irimata, arguably the state’s top pitcher and Division I college softball commit who had diced through every lineup she has faced this season.
Waianae started sophomore Kehau Tambaoan-Kaeo started strong by sitting down the Sabers in order to open the game, matching what Irimata did the half-inning prior.
Irimata worked around a one-out single in the top of the 2nd inning without giving up any runs, the only hit that the senior would give up to the Seariders all night in her shutout gem.
The Sabers’ offense woke up the bats in the bottom half of the frame, loading the bases and stringing together a walk, a pair of RBI singles and a bases-clearing double afterwards to take a 6-0 lead through two innings.
The Seariders made a quick switch in the pitching circle, going back to normal ace Jerzie Liana in the 3rd inning and putting Tambaoan-Kaeo in her familiar spot at shortstop. Liana made quick work of Campbell in the frame and next two innings as well, holding the Sabers’ lead at six runs.
Despite the valiant efforts from Waianae, Campbell’s Irimata was as locked in as she had been all season for the Sabers. The right-handed flamethrower sat down the Seariders in order in each inning after the 2nd inning, pitching aggressively thanks to the cushion her offense had provided early in the game.
Campbell picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the 6th inning, using some timely two-out hitting to bring home the 7th run of the game for the Sabers with Waianae’s offense down to its final three outs.
Irimata got the first two Seariders batters in the top of the 7th inning before walking Moani Ioane on a full-count pitch that just missed the zone.
Just the second base runner of the night for Waianae, Ioane would not have an extended stay as Irimata struck out Jerrell Oriana-Mailo for the game’s final out (and the Campbell pitcher’s 100th strikeout of the season).
FINAL: Campbell 7, Waianae 0.— Paul Brecht (@12brecht) April 23, 2023
Taryn Irimata pitches a GEM, allowing 2 total base runners (only 1 hit) as the state’s top team remains unbeaten and wins their first OIA DI title since 2019.
Final K of the night was #100 on the season for Irimata.@HIsportsradio #OIASoftball pic.twitter.com/HgxLLIqmRk
Irimata went seven sparkling innings for the Sabers, striking out six, walking one and allowing one hit in her 12th win of the season.
Tambaoan-Kaeo was charged with the loss for Waianae, allowing six earned runs on five hits and two walks in two innings. Liana entered in relief for the sophomore and pitched admirably, going five innings, allowing five hits and one earned run.
The win for Campbell added another notch in the belt for the state’s top squad, who moved to 13-0 after winning the program’s eighth league title. The Sabers now look ahead to the state tournament, where a fourth matchup with Waianae is still possible.
PHOTOS BY KUULEI AGBAYANI
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