KAHULUI, Maui — It took a year's time, but Pac-Five finally got its revenge.
Brazzlyn Tovio-Asato and Kiara Peterson combined to drive in four runs and Karley Ann Yoshioka scored three times to lead Pac-Five to a 6-4 win over Nanakuli in the title game of the DataHouse/Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division II Softball State Championships Saturday at Patsy Mink Field.
The second-seeded Wolfpack won their fifth straight game to finish with a 10-6-1 record. It is their first state title since capturing back-to-back crowns in 2010 and 2011 and fifth overall.
"We knew that it was time for us to win," said Yoshioka, who was named the tournament's most outstanding player. "We worked hard all year long. We had a lot of setbacks, but we came up and we knew we could beat them."
The top-seeded Golden Hawks, who were seeking an unprecedented fourth consecutive D2 championship, fell to 17-1.
It was a rematch of a quarterfinal matchup last year, when unseeded Nanakuli upended top-seeded Pac-Five, 3-1.
"Losing the first game in states brought our confidence down a lot and just having the opportunity to get back in our senior year means a lot to us," Tovio-Asato said. "We worked hard all season and we pulled through."
The Wolfpack rallied from a two-run deficit after two innings. Tovio-Asato's solo homer in the bottom of the third pulled them within a run, but it was in the fourth inning that they took the lead for good.
Pac-Five sent eight batters to the plate and scored three runs on three hits and were aided by two walks issued by Nanakuli starting pitcher Kanalei McCoy in the frame.
Alisha Candelario led off the fourth with a single and moved over to second base on Mikayla Chun's sacrifice bunt. She advanced to third on a wild pitch by McCoy and scored on RBI bunt single. Three batters later, Peterson plated a pair of runners with her two-out single to right field.
"When I saw the pitch, I saw that it was coming inside and before that, my coach told me that when I go up to hit, don't try to swing for the fence, just hit for contact and at least score a run," Peterson said. "So when I saw the pitch, I took a swing and it went down between first and second. I'm glad I hit the ball."
That gave the Wolfpack a 5-3 lead that they did not relinquish.
Peterson allowed one unearned run on six hits in 4 2/3 innings of relief of starter Megan Yoshioka and got the win. She got out of trouble a number of times, including a bases-loaded jam in the top of the sixth.
Ashley Van Gieson, Daria Kawaauhau and McCoy hit consecutive singles to load the bases with no outs. Peterson got Kika Mahoe to line out to Karley Ann Yoshioka at shortstop, who doubled off Van Gieson at third base, and Keani Nahinu to pop out to centerfield for the third out.
"I felt a little pressured, but I just had to tell myself to calm down and just play the game," Peterson said. "My teammates and coaches just told me just to keep my head up and always keep my composure. They always tell me to just forget about my mistakes and just keep playing."
Pac-Five coach Cecil Hasegawa said the double-play was a game-changer.
"This game could have gone either way, it's just that the breaks went our way," Hasegawa said. "Look at the bases loaded, no outs, where they lined it to the shortstop and she doubled up the runner. That could have went through the hole and they could have scored at least two runs on that, so it's a game of breaks."
Nanakuli made it a one-run game in the top of the fifth when Kika Mahoe led off the inning with a single and eventually came around to score on an error, but the Wolf Pack added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on Tovio-Asato's RBI single to score Yoshioka, who reached on an error to lead off the inning.
Yoshioka got the scoring started with her leadoff solo homer in the bottom of the first.
Nanakuli pulled ahead with three runs in the top of the second on back-to-back home runs by McCoy and Mahoe.
McCoy surrendered five runs on five hits with six walks and two strikeouts in five innings of work and took the loss for Nanakuli.
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