OIA Softball
Bulldogs pull away to claim OIA D2 crown


  



Sat, Apr 20, 2019 @ [ 5:00 pm ]


F/6TH 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Radford 1 11144X12164
Waialua 4 0 3267X2275

W: Maura Muniz    L: Nohea Akana

WLUA: Anela Hernandez 2-5 2 runs 3 rbi; Maura Muniz 7.0 IP 7 ER 3 K
RAD: Nohea Akana 4-4 run 2 rbi 2 dbl / 4.3 ER 5 ER 2 K


KAKAAKO — The title is going back to the North Shore after a 10-year absence.

Waialua won its second Oahu Interscholastic Association Division II title after pulling away from Radford, 22-12, in six innings at McKinley's Tiger Softball Stadium Saturday.

The Bulldogs won an OIA title back in 2009 and this was their third game of the season scoring 20 or more runs.

"It feels great, we worked so hard," Waialua pitcher Maura Muniz said.

"2009 was more exciting for me as an assistant coach. This time around, I kinda knew how it was going to be and I was relaxed. Our kids and coaches work hard. Thankful for the kids for believing in our style. I kept the style when I was an assistant. I'm enjoying the moment now," Waialua coach Rod Dicion said.

The 34 combined runs is the highest scoring game in OIA championship history shattering the 22 combined runs previously scored by Kalani and Waialua back in 2010.

Waialua led 15-12 and piled on seven runs of its own in the bottom of the sixth inning. Radford pitcher Kenci Faith loaded the bases with walks, and three Bulldogs batters drove in runs before Cherysh Wong's single RBI brought in the game-ending run due to the 10-run mercy rule.

"That's how we had to play Radford: we have to play them inning by inning. You never know. They can score easily and we have to keep scoring as they score. Hats off to Radford, they're a good hitting team," Dicion said.

Radford jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but Waialua responded with four runs as the Bulldogs capitalized on a fielding error to take a 4-1 lead heading into the second.

The Rams scored a run in each of the next three innings with Morgan Jackson driving in a run in the second and Selina Tavarez's solo home run to open the third inning, and Akana scored off a Waialua error in the fourth to trail, 6-4.

Walks and errors continued to plague the Rams as Waialua padded the lead with two runs in the fourth and then sent 11 batters to the plate and came away with six runs in the fifth to lead, 15-8.

"We executed when we had to execute," Dicion said.

Akana (7-3) pitched 4 1/3 innings, striking out two and walking 16 in the loss. The 16 walks issued was her second highest total of the season. She was pulled for Kenci Faith, who issued five walks and scattered four hits.

Dicion preached patience and discipline at the plate as four Bulldogs batters each drew three walks.

"Nohea is a good pitcher. She was having hard time with her control. I told the girls to be patient. The ball is going to come, that's when you take your hack at it. Other than that, just watch and let the ball come and go from there," Dicion said. "That was our game plan and we'll wait."

Radford wouldn't go down without a fight as it scored four consecutive runs off of RBIs by Akana and Jackson in the fifth to trail by a run, 9-8, and scored four more runs in the sixth off of errors and hits to trail, 15-12.

"They have a lot of big batters. We had to come back and the defense has to stop everything and I trust them a lot," Muniz said, who scattered 16 hits, struck out three and walked two in the win.

Akana went 4 for 4 from the plate with two doubles. Jackson was 3 for 5.

Both teams split the season series with Radford crushing the Bulldogs on April 2, 28-9, and Waialua returned the favor four days later, winning 8-6.

The Rams and Bulldogs each clinch spots to the DataHouse/HHSAA Division II Softball State Championships at Patsy T. Mink Field on Maui starting on May 1.

The Rams were seeking their first OIA title in school history.



Reach Brandon Ching at [email protected].


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