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Game of the Week
Kalani Takase | ScoringLiveApril 5, 2018, 9:48pm
Thu, Apr 5, 2018 @ [ 3:00 pm ]
W: Cira Bartolotti L: Maiyah Faleafine-Lesu
KAP: Cira Bartolotti 3-4 2 runs 4 rbi 2 HR / 7.0 IP 5 ER 3 KPC: Alexas Presto-Ahsing 1-4 run 3 rbi HR / 2.6 ER 0 ER
KAPOLEI — The second-ranked Kapolei softball team rolled to its third consecutive win with an impressive display of power Thursday.
Cira Bartolotti belted two of her team's four two-run home runs to back her own complete-game pitching effort as the host Hurricanes pulled away from fourth-ranked Pearl City in an Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I West game, 11-6.
Kapolei captured its fifth win in its last six games to improve to 7-3 on the season, while Pearl City fell to 5-3.
The Chargers took their first loss since March 13 to end a three-game win streak.
Five of the ‘Canes 12 base hits went for extra bases, including four home runs from three different players. In addition to Bartolotti's pair of homers, Kayli Nakoa and Lili Kaimi-Montira also cranked two-run shots over the fence.
It was the third time Kapolei scored double-digit runs this season — the last time coming in an 11-3 win over then-No. 1 Campbell last Thursday.
"We worked on our offensive approach really, really hard and just like the game against Campbell, we had a very specific plan coming into the game and we executed that plan to the 'T' actually. I was really happy about our approach today," Hurricanes' coach Keoke Behic said.
Bartolotti, Nakoa and Ciena Kauhi each went 3 for 4 at the plate.
The game served as revenge for Kapolei, which dropped the first-round meeting against Pearl City back on March 10 by a score of 12-7.
"The first time that we played them — obviously the left side of their infield is their best and the shortstop, (Cheyne) Obara, is probably one of the better shortstops in the league — so their plan was to pitch so that we hit to her and so our approach (today) was to back up in the dish, make the inside pitch down the middle and work up the middle (and the) opposite way, so that was our approach," Behic said.
In addition to their hot hitting Thursday, the Hurricanes also played much better defensively than the first time around against the Chargers when they committed three errors. Eight of the 12 runs allowed by Bartolotti in that loss were unearned.
"This was a lot better than the last game," Bartolotti said. "I think it was just a rough game for the whole team the last game, but this time, we came together as one and just wanted to win."
However, Bartolotti and the ‘Canes got off to a shaky start Thursday.
Pearl City took an early 3-0 lead on a solo home run by Hailey-Alexis Yamaguchi and a two-run homer by Alexas Presto-Ahsing in the top of the first inning.
"The first inning I was just struggling hitting spots, so when the second inning came I was just more focused in on hitting spots and trying to get the ball where it needed to go," said Bartolotti, who set the visitors down in order in the top of the second.
Kapolei pulled ahead on a pair of swings in the bottom of the frame. Lisa Takenaka drew a leadoff walk before the right handed Bartolotti helped her own cause by taking a 3-1 pitch to the opposite field and over the fence. Four batters later, Kiley Ozaki plated Kawena Hussey and Ciena Kauhi with her two-out single to right field to give her team a one run lead.
The Chargers pulled even at 4 on Presto-Ahsing's RBI-sacrifice fly in the top of the third to score Alyssa Okada, but the ‘Canes struck for four more runs in the next half-inning to reclaim the lead.
After Takenaka reached on a fielder's choice, Bartolotti crushed a 2-2 pitch over the fence in straightaway center field to break the tie.
"It was middle-inside pitch and it was just a good pitch to hit," Bartolotti said.
Two batters later, Kaimi-Montira pummeled the first pitch from Pearl City pitcher Maiyah Faleafine-Lesu over the center field fence and Kapolei held an 8-4 advantage after three complete innings.
Kayli Nakoa's two-run home run in the fourth inning was one of four the Hurricanes slammed against the Chargers. Spencer Honda | SL
Nakoa padded the ‘Canes lead with a two-run home run to left center in the fourth inning.
"It helped that we got ahead and we had more runs to cushion us," Bartolotti said. "It's nice that we're coming around with our hitting and everybody is feeling good. We're just working hard together."
Behic credited Nakoa and Bartolotti for clutching up from the sixth and eighth spots in the batting order, respectively.
"I think the number three, the number six and the number eight hole, that's where I want my power hitters, so just today I thought that Kayli Nakoa swung the bat really well in practice so I wanted to put her in the second number three (sixth) spot, so therefore Cira had to go in the eight spot at that point," Behic said.
The Chargers pushed across a pair of runs in the top of the sixth to pull within 10-6, but Kapolei added an insurance run in the bottom of the stanza.
Bartolotti notched her seventh complete game of the season and improved her record to 4-3 with a 3.84 ERA. She allowed five earned runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
"I think she did really well," Behic said. "She wasn't hitting her spots, but she threw enough strikes to put the ball in play and our defense made plays for her, and that's another thing that we're working really hard in practice, is to take care of the ball in the infield and I think we did that today."
Yamaguchi batted 2 for 4 with two runs scored and was the only player to pair hits for Pearl City, which used three pitchers.
Faleafine-Lesu allowed seven runs on six hits with four walks in 2 1/3 innings of work and took the loss.
Thursday's game marked the most runs allowed by the Chargers this season.
"We didn't execute in the circle today, plan and simple," Pearl City coach Chad Obara said. "Too many walks, too many two-oh, three-one counts and it's hard to come back from that, so all the walks and then the defense goes flat and then we have errors and then we get bombed, so things just started piling up and that was basically it.
"I thought we swung the bat pretty good. They swung the bat good, too. They cashed in on our mistakes. The mistakes we left over the plate, they hit ‘em good."
The teams split their two regular-season games. The Chargers took the previous meeting on March 10, 12-7.
Pearl City will host No. 3 Campbell (5-3) at 10 a.m. Saturday before finishing the regular season with Waianae (3-6) and No. 5 Mililani (5-4) next week.
Kapolei wraps up OIA D1 West play with top-ranked Leilehua (5-2) Monday before visiting Waianae Tuesday.
Twelve student-athletes, including the first from Lanai, will be honored June 2.
The Campbell senior shortstop batted 0.524 through the OIA regular season and playoffs.
The Kailua senior led all Division I pitchers with 72 strikeouts on the year.
The Marauders' third baseman helped the team go undefeated in the regular season.
The Mililani senior outside hitter won the award two years ago as a first-year setter.
Na Menehune senior was a six-rotation player that attacked from all areas of the court.