Mililani Mows Down Hilo, 11-1, in Five Innings to Advance to HHSAA Softball State Quarterfinals


HONOLULU — Hilo struck first. Mililani struck more.

The Mililani Trojans (9-6) trounced the Hilo Vikings (7-4), 11-1, in five innings Tuesday afternoon in the opening round of the 2023 HHSAA Softball State Playoffs. 

The Vikings entered Tuesday’s first round looking for new life, losing their last two times out in the BIIH championship series to Waiakea, 14-13 in game one and 18-12 in game two. Hilo had lost just one game during the course of the regular season before the championship series.

Mililani finished third in both OIA West Division I and in the overall OIA Division I standings. The Trojans fell in the OIA DI semifinals to Campbell, 5-2, before beating Kaiser in the third-place game, 9-4.

Hilo capitalized on a one-out walk by Mililani starter Makayla Pagampao, using a double and then an RBI single by Dahlia Gangano to take an early 1-0 lead over the Trojans.

Though the Vikings continued to threaten with runners on second and third and only one away, Pagampao worked out of trouble by inducing a groundout to second base and a strikeout swinging to end the top of the first.

Mililani answered right back in the bottom of the first frame, as Taryn Hirano worked a walk and immediately swiped second base on a wild pitch. She came around to score on a Kamryn Aoki single to right field. 

Altogether, the Trojans strung together seven hits along with four walks in all in the bottom of the first to spring ahead of Hilo, 8-1. 

With the assistance of the offensive exploding, Pagampao settled right into the game and was able to work around a second-inning error from her defense to have her first shutdown inning of the day. 

The pitcher helped herself out in the bottom half of the second, crushing a two-run home run to extend the Trojans’ lead to 10-1. 

A single to right and a sacrifice bunt set up the Vikings with a runner in scoring position with only one out, but Pagampao once again worked by the Hilo baserunner. The next two batters would pop up to second and then ground out to second to end the inning with no runs for the Vikings.

Mililani got to the 10-run lead mark in the bottom half of the third, getting the first two batters on before a one-out RBI single brought home the Trojans’ 11th run of the afternoon to make it 11-1. 

Hilo went down in order in the top of the fourth and gave up no runs in the bottom of the inning, setting up a score-or-lose scenario for the Vikings as the teams entered the fifth. 

The Vikings led the top of the fifth inning off with a single and put runners on the corners with one out, but Pagampao did what she had done all day and escaped the jam without giving up runs. The right-hander relied on her defense, getting the last two batters to ground out to second base and third base, respectively. 

Hilo’s Kalipi was charged with the loss, going four innings, and giving up 11 runs on 11 hits, walking seven Trojans on the day. The Vikings will play in the consolation bracket on Thursday, May 4 at 9:15 am HST against the loser of the May 2 matchup between Waianae and Leilehua. 

Mililani’s Pagampao went all five innings, earning the win while giving up one run on six hits, striking out three in first round victory over Hilo. She also chipped in two hits in her three ABs, including her monster two-run homer in the second inning. Trojans’ first basemen Kolbi Kochi led the way with three runs batted in. 

Mililani advances to the HHSAA quarterfinals on Wednesday, May 3, where they’ll take on #2 KS-Kapālama, who received a first-round bye. The Kamehameha Warriors went 12-5 during the regular season and finished second behind ‘Iolani in the ILH Division I standings (via ScoringLive).