Mililani marches past Kamehameha-Kapālama for program’s 4th state title

Mililani marches past Kamehameha-Kapālama for program’s 4th state title

 

Mililani marches past Kamehameha-Kapālama for program’s 4th state title

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED MAY 18, 2024

HONOLULU – For the first time in a decade, a Koa Head trophy will dance back to Mililani for a softball champion. 

The top-seeded Mililani Trojans (17-1) captured the program’s fourth state title on Friday night, running away from 2nd-seeded Kamehameha-Kapālama (14-6) by posting crooked numbers in the back-to-back frames to run-rule the Warriors in five innings, 14-1, and win the 2024 DataHouse/HHSAA Division I Softball Championship. It is the third state championship for the Trojans under the direction of longtime head coach Rose Antonio. 

The victory for the Trojans comes exactly a decade after the last state title – though it was a bit less stressful in the later innings this time around rather than in the 2014 championship game, which was a comeback 2-1 victory over the Campbell Sabers where Mililani scored the tying run in the 6th inning and walked it off with another run coming with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. 

The 2024 edition of the DataHouse/HHSAA Division I Softball Championship looked to be a similar battle early on as the teams played to a 1-1 stalemate through three innings – though a questionable foul ball call against KS-Kapālama’s Mua Williams took what would have been a go-ahead two-run extra base hit away from the Warriors’ shortstop in the bottom of the 3rd inning. The senior standout, committed to play her college softball at the University of Georgia, would later ground out to bring home the tying run as the 3rd inning ended with the sides tied. 

Without taking the momentum fully with the lead, KS-Kapālama quickly saw the team’s title hopes fly away – literally. 

Mililani posted seven runs in the top of the fourth to break open the game, led by University of Hawai’i softball signee Sunni Kahanu’s leadoff home run that put the Trojans back in front. The top half of the frame was capped off by Hawai’i Pacific signee Makayla Pagampao’s 3-run blast, powering Mililani an 8-1 advantage in the blink of an eye. 

On the other side, Mililani standout freshman pitcher Hinano Bautista had Kamehameha-Kapālama off-balance for the majority of the night, facing just four batters extra than needed over the final four innings of the game as the Trojans’ ace of staff posted a pristine line in the win: 5.0 IP, 4 hits, 1 run (0 ER) and a pair of walks, most importantly grabbing her 10th and biggest win of the season. 

The freshman star was assisted by another large scoring outburst by the Mililani offense in the top of the 5th inning as the Trojans brought home six more runs to put the Warriors in jeopardy of being run-ruled. After Pagampao drew a bases-loaded walk to force in a run, Kahanu drilled her second blast over the fence of the night to put the cherry on top of the ever-clicking offense for Mililani. 

Bautista was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after allowing four runs (2 ER) across 16 innings pitched, leading the Trojans to a perfect 3-0 record through the HHSAA playoffs. Joining her on the All-Tournament team from Mililani, as selected by the media, was sophomore infielder Jerrell Mailo, senior infielder Taryn Hirano, senior centerfielder Sunni Kahanu and senior utility Makayla Pagampao. 

Kamehameha-Kapālama rolled through the opening two rounds of the DataHouse/HHSAA Division I Softball Tournament, outscoring opponents Leilehua and Baldwin by a combined score of 27-4, tallying back-to-back five inning run-rule wins. Following the momentum shift to open the top of the fourth, the Warriors were unable to recover and saw an otherwise successful season end. 

The Warriors had six players named to the All-Tournament team, seeing senior Mua Williams, senior Mariah Antoque, senior Marley Espiau, senior Mikaela Scarborough, junior catcher Kezia Lucas and freshman pitcher Peahi Grilho-Armitage all receive honors for their efforts throughout the state playoffs. 

Mililani becomes just the fourth OIA program to win four or more HHSAA Division I state titles, joining Kailua, Pearl City and Campbell – who the Trojans dispatched a round prior with a hard-fought 3-2 win in the semifinals. 

Unbeaten Kapa’a flex bats, down Pac-5 for DataHouse/HHSAA Division II Softball title

Unbeaten Kapa’a flex bats, down Pac-5 for DataHouse/HHSAA Division II Softball title

 

Unbeaten Kapa’a flex bats, down Pac-5 for DataHouse/HHSAA Division II Softball title

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED MAY 18, 2024

HONOLULU – For the second time in three years, the best softball team in the HHSAA Division II is from the eastside of Kauai. 

KIF champion Kapa’a (15-0) completed an undefeated season on Friday, using powerful bats and pretty defense to push past the Pac-5 Wolfpack (11-3-1) in five innings, 13-1, for the 2024 DataHouse/HHSAA Division II Softball championship. The Warriors struck quickly and often, putting up multiple runs in the first four innings to jump out to a 13-run lead before finally allowing a run to the Wolfpack in the bottom of the 4th inning. 

Kapata saw eight of nine batters record a hit while the top five hitters in the lineup recorded runs batted in for the KIF powerhouse. While the bats were impressive for the Warriors, starting pitcher Karlee-Rose Keale was just as effective and efficient as she twirled a sparkling five innings of one-run ball. The junior pitcher allowed just two hits all game while striking out a pair and walking two batters in the run-rule complete game effort. 

Warriors’ 2nd baseman Rhea Furtado was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after the senior went 3-for-4 with a home run and double that resulted in a game-best five runs batted in during the championship. In all, Kapa’a had six players named to the All-Tournament team as voted by the media covering the tournament (INF Charlize Kenney, INF Sienna Yamashita, OF Hailey Gibson, OF Nahe Marshall and P Karlee-Rose Keale were all selected). 

Pac-5, the defending Division II high school softball champions in Hawai’i, saw a magical run to the title game with a youthful roster end against a powerhouse of a Kapa’a team but flashed potential for another deep run next year as the team graduates no seniors. 

The Wolfpack placed three players onto the All-Tournament team as sophomore catcher Dahlia Gangano, junior infielder Kylie Oshita and freshman utility player Mauliola Zuttermeister all received honors as voted by the media. Zuttermeister was responisble for the lone run in the championship game for Pac-5, smacking a solo home run in the bottom of the 4th inning.  

The title is the second in program history for Kapa’a softball. The Warriors became the first KIF program in HHSAA playoff history to win two titles in a three-year span at either the Division I or II levels.