‘Aiea tops Radford, 7-1, to win third OIA Division II softball title 


HONOLULU — Another crown come homes to ‘Aiea.

Na Ali’i jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as they pulled away from Radford, 7-1, to win the OIA Division II softball championship Saturday night at McKinley’s Tiger Softball Stadium.

It was ‘Aiea’s third league title in school history and its first since 2017 as Na Ali’i (15-1) ended league play with a 13-game winning streak.

“It’s amazing, it’s truly an honor to be a part of this team,” said pitcher Taja Souza, who was named the ‘Yeah U Player of the Game.’

Souza went the full seven innings in the win and allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out three. She improved to 10-0 in the circle and also batted 2-for-3 for a solid all-around performance.

“Her pitches were crisp, she was hitting her spots, making the pitches we called. It was awesome,” said ‘Aiea coach Alan Higuchi.

I think the last couple games she picked up the pace. It was something that was consistent throughout the year. Her last two or three starts, she started showing signs of that.”

Sisters CJ Peneueta and Nylove Peneueta led the way at the plate with five total hits and five RBIs.

‘Aiea’s lone loss of the season came against the Rams (13-3) on March 5.

“The first time we challenged them, it was a mental battle and I feel like we let them get to us,” said CJ Peneueta.

“Now we had more practice and more chemistry as a team and I feel this time around, we had more confidence and more trust in our teammates and ourselves.”

Radford was seeking its first-ever OIA title in school history.