HHSAA Softball
Agbayani’s walk-off single sends Iolani to the semifinals


Tue, May 10, 2022 @ [ 5:00 pm ]

F/8TH 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 R H E
Campbell 1 0200000333
Iolani 1 0 020001480

W: Ailana Agbayani    L: Taryn Irimata

IOL: Kaylee Matsuda 3-4 run trp; Ailana Agbayani 5.3 IP 0 ER 9 K
CAMP: Paige Nakashima 2-4 run 2 rbi trp; Taryn Irimata 7.6 IP 2 ER 9 K

MANOA—What can't Ailana Agbayani do?

The senior threw a no-hitter in relief and brought in the winning run to lift top seed and No. 3 Iolani over No. 4 Campbell, 4-3 in eight innings at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium to advance to the Data House/HHSAA Division I Softball Championships semifinals.

The Interscholastic League of Honolulu champions face the Oahu Interscholastic Association runner up and No. 2 Mililani, who crushed Kealakehe, 25-0 earlier today, in the 7:30 p.m. game on Wednesday following second seed and No. 1 Kapolei/No. 5 Maryknoll.

"The fact that it was that close for that long shows how much both teams wanted it," senior centerfielder Kaylee Matsuda said.

After Mia Carbonell struck out to open the top of the eighth, Matsuda tripled to right center.

Brien Ing | SL    Purchase image

"She was going outside the whole game and I had to be ready for it," Matsuda said of the offering.

The Sabers decided to intentionally walk Kennadie Tsue and Milla Fukuda to load the bases for the force play. Lexie Tilton reached on a fielder's choice that moved the base runners over and prevented Matsuda from scoring. Agbayani whiffed on the first pitch and fouled it back twice, before sending the winning hit to left field to plate Tsue.

"I wasn't looking to hit anything like that. I was trying to see every pitch and trying to calm myself down. There was a lot going on. Bases loaded, the crowd screaming. I stayed calm and did me. I was trying to hit the ball hard on the ground because my teammates are fast to score," Agbayani said.

Agbayani went 2 for 4 at the plate and in the circle pitched 5 1/3 innings of no-hit relief with nine strikeouts and no walks for the win.

Cairah Curran got the Sabers on the scoreboard for a 1-0 lead after drawing a leadoff walk, stealing second and coming home on Paige Nakashima's single to shallow left center.

Agbayani placed a perfect bunt that stalled in the dirt for her first hit, stole second, and Allie Capello plated her with a double to left center to tie the game at 1.

"I think the energy was high throughout the whole game. It was the most-fun game to play in so I think that helped a lot," Matsuda said.

Campbell reclaimed the lead in the top of the third after Curran drew another leadoff walk and scored off Nakashima's triple. Lorraine Alo executed the squeeze play to score Nakashima (2 for 4) from third to lead, 3-1.

Capello pitched 2 2/3 innings, Sabers' three runs were earned. After she walked Leia Duropan, Agbayani got the final out as Kaylisa Nakoa struck out looking.

Brien Ing | SL    Purchase image

Iolani used the small ball in the fourth to tie the game up at 3. Matsuda led off with a single and stole second. Tsue reached first on Taryn Irimata's throwing error. Fukuda was called out after her foot touched the plate as she placed down the bunt. Tilton reached on a sacrifice and error then advanced to second and Tsue took third after Matsuda scored. Agbayani's fielder's choice sacrifice bunt brought in the tying run of the inning.

"Our mindset was to use our smarts and speed. We're obviously not the biggest team out here. We're using our size to our advantage," Agbayani said.

Agbayani stifled the Campbell bats and retired the next 17 batters.

"Nothing was working in warmups, I was missing all my spots in warmups and I just came in the game. Balls over the catcher's head, in the dirt. The game environment, I felt ready," Agbayani admitted.

Irimata pitched 7 2/3 innings, scattered eight hits, of the four runs, two were earned. She struck out nine and walked three in the loss. She retired six-straight Iolani batters in the fifth and sixth. She fanned Agbayani and Capello before giving up a single to Harley Acosta. Keely Kai came in as a pinch runner, stole second and moved to third on an error, but Hunter Salausa-Galletes struck out looking to send the game into extra innings.

"The rise ball is always tricky and I feel like she (Irimata) has a really good rise ball, but I think being able to focus on the outside, what she was throwing quite a bit helped us a lot," Matsuda said.

The Sabers dropped to the consolation bracket to play Kealakehe at McKinley at 4 p.m.

Reach Brandon Ching at [email protected].

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