‘Iolani Walks Past Waiakea to Claim Spot in HHSAA Softball D1 State Semifinals
BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED MAY 3, 2023
HONOLULU — The ‘Iolani Raiders (15-5) showed patience and poise at the plate in their state quarterfinal matchup with the Waiakea Warriors (11-3), totaling 15 walks and seven hits in a 16-3 win at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium Thursday afternoon.
The Raiders entered the quarterfinals fresh off their first-round run-rule win over Kaiser, 14-3 in five innings. ‘Iolani finished the regular season at the top of the ILH Division 1 standings, although they lost two straight to Kamehameha-Kapālama, including the ILH title game, before the state tournament.
Waiakea came in as the fourth seed, winning the BIIH D1 championship series over Hilo and earning the Warriors a first-round bye in the state tournament. The Warriors were the top regular season team from BIIF Division 1, with just two losses coming into the day.
Back at RWSS, double-dipping on #HHSAA Softball Quarterfinals coverage today!— Paul Brecht (@12brecht) May 4, 2023
First, ‘Iolani takes on #4 Waiakea with a spot in the state semis on the line. ‘Iolani beat Kaiser yesterday in 5 innings, 14-3.
Follow along for updates! @HIsportsradio pic.twitter.com/8UQX7xarMp
‘Iolani got the offense started early, using a pair of two-out singles to score the game’s first run and give Molly Dyer a lead to work with before ever throwing a pitch.
Dyer responded with a solid first frame, working around a leadoff walk to sit down the Warriors in the first and hold on to the early lead.
The Raiders grew the lead in the second, capitalizing on two walks and a fielding error in the inning to go up 3-0.
‘Iolani was able to break the game open in the top of the third inning, sending 12 batters to the plate and walking seven times in the frame to open up a 9-0 lead over Waiakea and knock starter Kaitlyn Muira out of the game.
She was replaced by Warriors’ reliever Kaylee Aiona, who struggled to find the strike zone before leaving the game due to an apparent injury in the third inning.
The Raiders kept the party rolling in the fourth, scoring seven more runs with the help of five more walks from the Waiakea pitching staff and extending the lead to 16-0 and looking for their second run-rule shortened game in as many days.
‘Iolani scores 4 more runs with 2 outs in the top of the 4th, as they’ve blown this one wide open. Seven runs total in the inning.— Paul Brecht (@12brecht) May 4, 2023
Raiders lead, 16-0, as Waiakea comes to the plate trying to cut into the deficit in any way possible.
Waiakea fought back in the bottom half of the fourth, getting to new ‘Iolani pitcher Cayleeann Hedani to the tune of three runs on three hits while working a few free passes of their own in the inning.
The Warriors held the Raiders off the board in the top of the fifth, giving themselves a chance to get back under the run-rule and extend the game at least another inning.
While Waiakea loaded the bases with two away in the bottom of the inning, ‘Iolani did not panic and went back to starter Molly Dyer to try and get the final out of the game.
Dyer did exactly that, inducing a game-ending fly out to center to send the Raiders to the state semifinals tomorrow afternoon, where they will face the winner of Campbell-Kapolei with a birth in the D1 state title game on the line.
FINAL/5: ‘Iolani 16, Waiakea 3.— Paul Brecht (@12brecht) May 4, 2023
Raiders strike early, strike often, scoring runs in four of five innings to run rule the Warriors and advance to tomorrow’s state semifinals.
Waiakea will play in consolation bracket with a chance at finishing 5th in the state.@HIsportsradio pic.twitter.com/1fpXrO03xp
Miura was charged with the loss for Waiakea, going two innings and giving up six runs (4 ER) while walking four and giving up four hits. Four different pitchers saw time in the circle for the Warriors, who struggled with control all afternoon.
Dyer earned the win for ‘Iolani, pitching 3.1 innings of no-run, no-hit ball, walking four and striking out two. Ten different Raiders recorded at least one RBI in the 16-3 win, and ‘Iolani worked 15 walks in total over the five innings.
Waiakea will play the loser of the Campbell-Kapolei quarterfinal in the fifth-place bracket tomorrow at McKinley high school at noon HST.
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