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Game of the Week
Stacy Kaneshiro | ScoringLiveMarch 9, 2018, 8:52pm
Fri, Mar 9, 2018 @ [ 4:00 pm ]
W: Kahilu McNicoll L: Sierrah Kupihea
MS: Baylie Kahele 2-2 2 rbi 2 dbl; Kahilu McNicoll 7.0 IP 1 ER 4 KSFS: Kaena Keliinoi 1-3 run rbi HR; Sierrah Kupihea 6.0 ER 2 ER 3 K
SAND ISLAND — Senior batterymates Kahilu McNicoll and Baylie Kahele powered No. 4 Maryknoll to a 3-1 win against visiting Saint Francis Friday in Interscholastic League of Honolulu softball at the Sand Island Softball Field.
McNicoll (2-0) survived several jams in a three-hit, complete-game win and catcher Kahele drove in two runs with a pair of run-scoring doubles to help the Spartans improve to 2-0. The Saints, who got their only run on a solo homer by Kaena Keliinoi, dropped to 0-2.
McNicoll, who walked three and struck out four, allowed a lead-off double in the second to Skye Ah Yat, who was 2 for 3, but stranded her there by striking out the next two batters and getting the third out on a grounder to third.
"I wasn't trying to (strike out the two hitters)," McNicoll said. "I was trying to hit my spots. I was just trying to help my defense out because they always help me out a lot."
McNicoll stranded two runners in the fourth, gave up a fifht-inning lead-off homer to center by Keliinoi before walking a batter, who also ended up stranded. In the seventh, she stranded the tying runs at the corners by getting Nanea Kalama on a game-ending comebacker.
Losing pitcher Sierrah Kupihea (0-2) wasn't bad either, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits but walked five and struck out three. She allowed at least one runner in each of her six innings pitched.
Meanwhile, Kahele provided most of the Spartans' offense. Freshman Mahalo Akaka led off the second with a walk against Kupihea, moved to second on Liliana Thomas' sacrifice bunt and scored on Kahele's double to center on a 1-2 pitch.
With two outs in the fourth, Thomas drew a walk and scored on Kahele's double to left-center to make it 2-0.
"I just wanted to get these runs in," Kahele said. "At practice, I was working on getting quicker to the ball."
The Spartans got their last run by cashing in on an error. Nohea Hee reached on a fielding error to start the fifth. An out later, she scored on Logan Carlos' triple to center. But Kupihea struck out McNicoll before Sydney Kamakaiwi reached on a fielder's choice after swinging at a two-strike pitch in the dirt when the catcher tried to pick off the runner at third. Still Kupihea escaped more harm by getting Akaka to pop out to short.
Maryknoll has seven seniors, one junior, two sophomores and three freshmen. The senior leadership seems to be a nice blend for the young players.
"This year's team, we're kind of small," said Kahele, referring to the 13-player squad. "But we're really close to each other. Since we have such a small group, we're always hanging out with each other. A lot of these freshmen make a big impact on our team."
Semifinals feature Saint Francis vs. Damien and Lahainaluna vs. Punahou.
The Warriors edged defending champ Iolani to begin regular season play.
The Falcons have not dropped a contest in four weeks.
The Raiders banged 11 triples and outscored host Na Menehune by 13 after halftime.
Kapolei jumped out to a 21-4 first quarter lead and never looked back.
Warriors hit eight treys, never trailed the Hurricanes and led by as many as 36 points.