ILH Softball
Big second inning helps No. 2 Iolani rout No. 1 Maryknoll


Sat, Mar 11, 2023 @ [ 3:00 pm ]

F/6TH 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Maryknoll 0 10000X146
Iolani 0 9 1001X1171

W: Molly Dyer    L: Karlie Espinoza

IOL: Harley Acosta 1-3 2 runs 2 rbi trp; Molly Dyer 6.0 IP 0 ER 3 K
MS: Jaycie Simpliciano 1-1 rbi; Jenna Sniffen 4.3 IP 1 ER 4 K

No. 2 Iolani broke open the game with a nine-run second inning to run-rule No. 1 Maryknoll, 11-1, in six innings at the Raiders' field Saturday afternoon.

Less than 24 hours after beating Punahou, 9-1 on the same field, the Raiders hand the Spartans (2-1) their first loss and improved to 3-1 in the ILH Division I standings.

"Making sure that yesterday's win, we didn't get ahead of ourselves and knowing that we had to start over again. Staying excited. We play really well when we play loose and happy and excited," Iolani pitcher Molly Dyer said.

First-year Iolani coach Chad Cordero, who is from California and coached several Hawaii girls through his club team, marveled at the league's competition.

"It's great. It's a very competitive league. Every team has a lot good players and you cannot take anyone for granted. You have to go out there and the team who makes the least amount of mistakes will come out on top," Cordero said.

The game had its share of injuries and got off to an inauspicious start after first baseman Kealohi Markham made the catch to get the first out, but landed awkwardly and did not return. The Raiders regrouped and Dyer struck out Briana-Lynn Sarae. Donnybrook Pantastico and Palehua Silva followed up with singles, and Pantastico suffered an injury and was out advancing to third.

The Spartans flew out to left and lined out to second for the first two outs before Kasi Cruz singled to center and took second base on Milla Fukuda's error. Jaycie Simpliciano brought in Maryknoll's only run with a single to center for a 1-0 lead. Dylan Neves grounded out to third to end the inning.

Harley Acosta was hit by a pitch to lead off the second inning and Madisyn Ueyama reached on an error on her bunt attempt. Natalie Ching followed up with a sacrifice bunt to move both runners, and Keely Kai's pop up to shallow second dropped to get the Raiders on the scoreboard. Fukuda took the first offering and launched a shot to center to make it, 3-1.

"The way we play our game is we try to get someone on. Just get them on, get it over and get it in. That's our philosophy. That inning, that's what we were doing. Hitting is contagious. We felt them crumbling and the girls kept at it," Cordero said.

"It was huge. It wasn't the pitch I really wanted, but I stayed patient with it," Fukuda said.

"She's been coming up big for us all year. Our lower part of the lineup can on in front of her and it allows her to come up in big spots. All year long she's been coming up with big hits," Cordero said of Fukuda.

Karlie Espinoza's time in the circle was done and Jenna Sniffen came over from short stop to pitch the remainder of the game.

Espinoza pitched 1 1/3 innings, scattering two hits, four of the five runs were earned in the loss.

Sniffen pitched 4 1/3 innings, scattering five hits, of the six runs, one was earned as she struck out four and walked one.

Starting short stop Nellian McEnroe-Marinas, a First Team All-Hawaii selection, did not play while recovering from a knee injury suffered in their opening season win over Kamehameha.

Kai and Fukuda plated runs and Iolani took advantage of Maryknoll's fielding errors. Mia Carbonell reached on an error from second that scored Tsue that made it, 6-1.

Hunter Salausa-Galletes walked and Mehana Goo went to second before Acosta tripled to left field for an 8-1 lead. Ueyama, who filled in for Markham in the sixth spot, drove in Acosta to make it 9-1 after two innings. Sniffen struck out Kai as the Raiders sent 14 batters to the plate in the inning.

"Anytime you can get a defense for a long period of time, they're not going to be on their toes. If we keep putting the bat on the ball and if we don't strike out often and we put the ball in play and force the defense to make plays," Cordero said.

"I was excited so I had to settle down in the circle. It was pretty exciting and I wanted to make sure to get that momentum going and not get ahead of myself," Dyer said as she got back into the circle with a comfrortable lead.

The Raiders padded the lead after Tsue hit a grounder past third that was misplayed and Carbonell brought her in with a left field single.

Dyer threw six innings and scattered four Maryknoll hits and struck out and walked three in the win.

"She did amazing. She went after the girls. Compared to how she threw against Kamehameha. The way she bounced back, couldn't have been prouder. She forgot what happened Wednesday and went after hitters and got the win," Cordero said.

"Most of my pitches were hitting their spots. I was using my drop, curve, and my screwball pretty equally," Dyer said.

Iolani tightened up its defense in the next three innings. Salausa-Galletes made a diving catch near the fence to nab the first out in the top third. Kasi Cruz flew out to Fukuda and Dyer got the third out throwing it to first.

"It felt good. I had an amazing defense behind me so I wasn't too nervous," Dyer said.

Sniffen flew out to Kai and Dyer struck out Sarae and Amber Rayray grounded to second for a quick 1-2-3 fifth inning.

In the sixth inning, the outfield stepped up as Dyer induced Silva, Espinoza, and Spencer to fly out to Fukuda and Mizo.

"I trusted my defense. Anything that wasn't over the fence, they could handle. I wasn't too nervous," Dyer said.

In the bottom of the sixth, Sniffen struck out Carbonell, but Salausa-Galletes hit a line drive to left and Mehana Goo came in as a courtesy runner. Acosta grounded out to short, but Ueyama brought in her second run of the afternoon with a single to shallow right to end the game.

The Raiders and Spartans are scheduled to meet again on Mar. 25 at Sand Island and on Apr. 5 at McKinley.

Iolani takes on No. 8 Punahou on Mar. 18, while Maryknoll hosts the Buffanblu on Mar. 15 and takes on No. 9 Kamehameha-Kapalama on Mar. 18.

Reach Brandon Ching at [email protected].

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