OIA Softball
Irimata, Sabers shake early jitters in rout of Waianae


Tue, Mar 3, 2020 @ [ 3:00 pm ]

F/5TH 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Waianae 1 0002XX345
Campbell 1 4 125XX1390

W: Taryn Irimata    L: Alohilani Napalapalai

CAMP: Jaelyn Myers 3-3 run 2 rbi 2 dbl; Taryn Irimata 5.0 IP 3 ER 6 K
WNAE: Braiesey Rosa 2-3 run rbi dbl; Alohilani Napalapalai 4.0 IP 4 ER 2 K

EWA BEACH — After a bit of a shaky start, Taryn Irimata settled in quite nicely in her varsity debut.

Irimata, a freshman right-handed pitcher, recorded six strikeouts, scattered four hits and issued one walk and got plenty of run support to lead Campbell to a 13-3 win over visiting Waianae in the Oahu Interscholastic Association regular season opener for both teams.

The game was called with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning due to the 10-run differential mercy rule.

The Sabers (1-0 OIA D1 West) got the leadoff batter aboard in each inning and scored in every frame, highlighted by a four-run second inning and a five-spot in the fifth.  

Three different batters had multi-hit games, including center fielder Jaelyn Myers' 3-for-3 day at the plate. She doubled in each of her first two at-bats, including an RBI two-bagger in the third inning. Myers scored twice and ended the game with her RBI-single to left field to score Jayla Stephens and induce the mercy rule.

Campbell's Jaelyn Myers (right) reaches second base in the bottom of the second inning, which was full of fielding errors for the visiting Seariders. Michael Lasquero | SL    Purchase image

Catcher Chloe Makinney batted 2 for 3 with a triple and three runs scored and second baseman Cairah Curran went 2 for 3 with a double, two stolen bases, a walk and two runs scored. The pair of freshmen batted second and third, respectively, and were among four ninth graders in the Campbell batting lineup.

"The freshmen really hit the ball, made the plays and our freshman pitcher battled," Sabers coach Michael Hermosura said of Irimata, who retired a string of 10 consecutive batters after allowing a pair of hits in the top of the first inning.

Braiesey Rosa led off the game with a seeing-eye single to right field and moved over to second base on a Shaylin Lopes' sacrifice bunt. Rosa scored two batters later on Kawena Hussey's RBI-single to right-center to give Waianae the early lead.

However, Irimata got some help from her defense to minimize the damage. She got Davi-Jan Rodrigues to ground into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double-play to get out of the jam. Curran threw to shortstop Jayda Favela, who completed the turn to first baseman Chloe Sales.

"That was really big," Hermosura said of the twin-killing. "(Irimata) hit her spot real well on that one. We were just talking over here (in the dugout) and I said, ‘hit one to the four-spot, so we can turn two,' and we called an outside pitch and it happens, so sometimes it's better to be lucky than sorry."

The Sabers answered in the bottom of the frame. Waianae pitcher Alohilani Napalapalai surrendered a single to Curran, then walked Sales, the clean-up batter, before hitting Tati Liu with a pitch to load the bases. Lorraine Alo — a freshman third baseman and younger sister of former Campbell standout Jocelyn Alo — was then hit by a Napalapalai pitch to drive in Curran for the tying run.

"They overcame being down by that one run and came back and tied the run and we try to manufacture runs; we're not so much of a power-hitting team," Hermosura said. "We try to hit gaps and stay on top and inside the ball and we play small ball, so that's how our program is built; You gotta be all around versatile."

After Irimata struck out the side in the top of the second, the Sabers sent eight batters to the plate in the bottom of the inning. Myers doubled to lead off the frame and eventually came in to score on a throwing error. A few batters later, Curran laid down a well-placed bunt on a squeeze play to score Kaiana Kong to make it a 4-1 lead for the home team.

Campbell's Cairah Curran records an out against Waianae in an OIA West contest Tuesday afternoon. Michael Lasquero | SL    Purchase image

Waianae committed three of its five total errors in the second.

Campbell extended its lead to 8-1 in the fourth inning on Alo's two-out RBI-triple to score courtesy runner Pualani Correa.

Cherish Hose was hit by an 0-2 pitch from Irimata to lead off the Waianae fifth; she was the first Searider to reach base since Hussey in the first inning. Hose came around to score on an RBI-double to left-center by Venalysha Palenapa and the latter was plated by a two-out RBI-double to straightaway center off the bat of Rosa to cut the Sabers' lead to 8-3.

Napalapalai gave way to Rosa to start the top of the fifth inning, but the freshman walked four and hit three batters in the frame. Curran, Alo and Chloe Stephens drew bases-loaded walks to push across runs and Sales drove in her second run on a fielder's choice before Myers closed out the scoring with her RBI-single.

Campbell's quartet of freshmen — Makinney, Curran, Alo and Kong — combined to go 5 for 9 at the plate with two walks and accounted for seven runs scored. Makinney scored three runs, Curran twice, Alo drove in three runs and Kong had two sac bunts.

"We're freshmen-oriented this year, but they're making a statement for themselves," Hermosura said. "They gotta come on their own, I'm not going to baby them and they know that and they work as hard as I want them to work or more, but they keep me young."

Irimata appears primed to take on the role of ace pitcher, despite her youth. She registered first-pitch strikes to 13 of the 20 batters she faced Tuesday. She hit one batter and had one wild pitch, but got 11 swing-and-misses. Of her six strikeouts, four of them were looking.

"She'll be coming around," said Hermosura, who noted that Irimata averaged "nine or 10 strikeouts a game" in the preseason.

"I mean, Taryn is a fighter. She works hard in everything, but as for the team itself, they're pretty much starting to believe in themselves and what they can do," he added.

Much like the Sabers, Waianae is a team with its share of youth as well.

"I lost like eight seniors last year, so I got like four seniors, about seven freshmen and two sophomores, but one is injured," Seariders coach Robert Kalaola said. "I expect them to grow, so we'll stay humble and we'll just grow from here."

Kalaola was impressed with Irimata's ability to find her groove after some early-game jitters.

"She did really good. They're gonna go a long way. She's real disciplined and she put the ball where she needed to and we just weren't making contact with it," Kalaola said.

Napalapalai was charged with the loss. She was tagged for eight hits, but four of the eight runs she allowed were unearned. Napalapalai struck out two and walked two.

Rosa batted 2 for 3 to lead the Seariders (0-1) offensively.

Both teams next play on Saturday. Waianae will host Kapolei Charter at 10 a.m., while Campbell will take on Kapolei at 7 p.m. at McKinley. The Hurricanes (1-0) are coming off of a 12-1 rout of Leilehua Tuesday, while the Iwa will be making their varsity debut.

Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].

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