ILH Softball
Punahou rallies by Kamehameha to win their ILH Division I opener


Sat, Mar 4, 2023 @ [ 12:00 pm ]

FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Kamehameha 0 110000293
Punahou 0 0 0031X451

W: Paige Brunn    L: Jordyn Blackstad

PUN: Shonty Passi 1-3 2 rbi dbl; Paige Brunn 7.0 IP 1 ER
KSK: Mua Williams 2-4 run rbi HR; Kiani Soller 4.0 IP 2 ER 2 K

Punahou rallied with a three-run fifth inning and held off Kamehameha-Kapalama to win, 4-2, in their ILH Division I opener at Sand Island Park Saturday.

Shortstop Shonty Passi's double in the fifth sparked the Buffanblu (1-0) and pitcher Paige Brunn pitched a complete game, scattered nine hits, and had one strike out to get the win.

"It's a good start. The ILH is so tough. Every single day we show up, we have to battle. It's one game at a time, I know it's cliche, but it really is that way in the ILH," Punahou coach Boy Eldredge said.

The Warriors fell to 0-2 in the ILH after falling to defending state champion Maryknoll, 4-2, yesterday at the field next door.

Jewels Hanawahine led off the second inning with a double and scored off Passi's errant throw to first to get the Warriors on the scoreboard. Passi would bounce back at the plate in the fifth to lift the Buffnablu.

"From the error, I knew that wasn't me and I will never make that error again for my team. I knew I let up a big run. I knew that this game is a game of failures and I knew I was going to bounce back from it," Passi said.

Scarborough got caught in a pickle between third and home for the second out and Burn forced a flyout to Sydney Capello to strand two Kamehameha runners to end the inning.

Mua Williams worked a full count before cranking a solo home run to lead, 2-0 in the third inning.

Centerfielder Marley Espiau accounted for three straight outs in the third and robbed Passi's shot to center with a diving catch.

"Just to get out and play is a good feeling. Our girls played well. Even though in the first few innings, we didn't really score. We were hitting line drives, they (Kamehameha) were making outstanding plays, diving catches. We felt like we were where we needed to be," Eldredge said.

Williams led off the fifth inning with a single, but the Buffanblu's defense stepped up as Shayla Yamashita nabbed Mariah Antoque's deep shot to center and Passi caught Nawahine's pop fly, and Capello ended the inning.

Katie Miyasato led off the bottom of the fifth with a walk and moved over to second on Taryn Ho's grounder to left field. The Warriors made a pitching change taking out Kiani Soller for Jordyn Blackstad.

Soller pitched four complete innings, scattering three hits. Two runs were earned as she struck out two and walked three. Blackstad was tagged with the loss and pitched two innings, scattered two hits with a walk and a strike. 

Aliya Hashimoto reached on an error to load the bases and Passi took a 1-1 count and launched a deep double to right center to score Miyasato and Ho to tie the game at 2.

"I was trying to stay simple and I hit the ball to the centerfielder previous to that. I tried to stay out and tried to believe in myself and have some confidence for my team," Passi said.

"Shonty, her preseason has been outstanding. She hit over .700 and her leadership has been great. A mistake here or there is not a big problem. She's going to get herself back in the game and as it turns out in that big moment, we felt very confident she was going to come through," Eldredge added.

Austen Kinney grounded out to third and Hashimoto evaded the tag at home to give the Buffanblu a 3-2 lead.

In the top sixth, the Warriors got singles from Scarborough and Kezia Lucas but Hashimoto and Miyasato each recorded the next two outs as Kamehameha left a pair on base.

"We were focused today and our energy is contagious from everyone on the field. Everyone goes with each other. We're a team so we will follow each other and do what needs to be done together," Passi said.

Abrye Kapana drew a lead off walk to open the bottom of the sixth and Sera Tokumaru came in as a pinch runner. Tokumaru reached third on Lucas' error and Kealoha Cox brought her in for the final run of the afternoon.

Brunn struck out Williams for her only strike out of the afternoon and forced Antoque to fly out to Miyasato and Hanawahine popped out to Ho to end the game.

"She hit all her spots today and she did what was needed for us to win, for us to make the plays and take advantage and make some outs," Passi said.

"She had a good strike ratio and she was hitting spots when she needed to. We were fortunate, I think Mua came up to lead off the inning a couple times rather than have her with people on base. That allowed her to face her with a less pressure situation. It was good the way things worked out," Eldredge said of Brunn.

Kamehameha hosts on Wednesday, Mar. 8 Iolani while Punahou faces the Raiders two days later at Ala Wai.

"It's good to win the first game, but it's not done yet. We have to play Iolani. We're going to get better and we have to keep going, we have to feed off this game and get better to go to the next," Passi said.

Both teams are scheduled to face each other again on Thursday, Mar. 23 at McKinley and on Mar. 31 at Punahou.

Reach Brandon Ching at [email protected].

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