HHSAA Softball
Saint Francis girls finish as softball queens


  



Sat, May 4, 2019 @ [ 6:45 pm ]


FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Kohala 0 001000130
Saint Francis 1 0 0012X441

W: Sierrah Kupihea    L: Mikayla Kekoa

SFS: Jordyn Lono 1-2 run 2 rbi HR; Sierrah Kupihea 7.0 IP 1 ER 14 K
KOH: Mikayla Kekoa 1-2 run rbi HR / 6.0 IP 3 ER 3 K


KAHULUI, Maui — The final chapter in the Saint Francis softball team's program history did not disappoint.

The Saints pulled away from Kohala in a pitcher's duel to win their second straight state title with a 4-1 victory in the DataHouse Division II Softball Championships Saturday night at Patsy T. Mink Field.

With the announcement that the school would be closing its doors at the end of the school year, the Saints (15-4) made sure that their final season ended on a high note.

"We've been working for this since the start of this year, and most of us has been together since freshman year," said senior catcher Kaena Keliinoi, who drove in the team's first run. "We played with our hearts and we just wanted to bring it back home."

After going 12-4 in ILH play and garnering a No. 4 ranking in the Hawaiian Electric Power Rankings, Saint Francis was the clear favorite to win the D2 state title again.

But instead of a predictable ending, the upstart Cowgirls (15-7) made sure Saint Francis' final contest was a competitive one.

And like all champions do, the Saints answered the call.

Sierrah Kupihea was superb in the circle with 14 strikeouts, Aulani Garcia had the go-ahead RBI in the bottom of the fifth inning and Jordyn Lono smacked a two-run homer in the sixth to help deliver the team's third state title.

The Saints celebrate after Jordyn Lono hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning. Michael Lasquero | SL    Purchase image

"It feels amazing," said Kupihea, who was selected as the tournament's most outstanding player. "I feel like we wanted to end this season by making a statement. We know we can roll with the big boys and I think it shows since we won back-to-back."

While Saint Francis' narrative nearly wrote itself before the tournament, Kohala filled the history books in the past couple of days. The Cowgirls, who picked up two consecutive one-run victories over two seeded teams, were playing in their first-ever state final.

Behind an incredible effort by pitcher Mikayla Kekoa, who also tied the game up on a solo shot over the left-center field in the top of the fourth, Kohala was able to limit Saint Francis to just four hits in the game.

"We knew it was going to be tough because we knew the other pitcher from Kohala is very good," said Saint Francis coach Randy Langsi. "We knew that she was going to give us some challenges, my hats off to her. She pitched an outstanding game and she hit that home run too."

The Cowgirls had a chance to knot things up in the top of the sixth when the Saints intentionally walked Kekoa to load the bases with just one out, but a base-running miscue one batter later derailed the opportunity.

"We had chances for score," said Kohala coach Terrence Alcoran. "They intentionally walked our main hitter. We knew with our main hitter we had chance, but they did the right thing."

After an uncaught strike three made it two outs, Kohala signaled Kekoa to run to second base. The runner on third then tried to score in the midst of the confusion, but Saint Francis got the out at home plate to end the threat and the inning.

"That was a mistake, my fault," said Alcoran.

Still, the Cowgirls had their opportunities and have nothing to hang their heads for after pushing Saint Francis to the limit.

"Proud of these girls, very good game. It was a good game all the way until the sixth inning," said Alcoran. "We was in it, I never thought we was out. Come the last inning I thought we had chance, but they came out on top."



Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].


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