ILH Softball
Punahou stays hot, douses third ranked Maryknoll in home finale


Thu, Apr 11, 2024 @ [ 4:00 pm ]

FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Maryknoll 0 000502782
Punahou 3 1 5032X14131

W: Tasi Taufahema    L: Molly Davi

PUN: Taryn Ho 3-4 4 runs 5 rbi 3 HR; Tasi Taufahema 4.6 IP 5 ER
MS: Palehua Silva 4-4 2 runs 4 rbi 2 HR; Molly Davi 2.0 IP 2 ER

Fifth ranked Punahou sent their seniors off in style, taking down third ranked Maryknoll, 14-7, in a power hitting clinic that saw the Buffanblu hit six home runs in the contest.

Junior shortstop Taryn Ho led the way for the Buffanblu, contributing three homers and five RBIs to the win. Senior outfielder Shayla Yamashita didn't lag far behind, adding two homers and a double with four RBIs.

For the Spartans, sophomore cleanup hitter Palehua Silva stood out as she went a perfect four for four at the plate with two home runs and four RBIs.

When asked about their big days at the plate, both Ho and Yamashita preached fundamentals.

"I was just focusing on keeping it simple and swinging down on the ball. I knew Jenna and Molly are both good hard throwers, so I was just trying to keep it simple and not think too much," Ho said.

"I was just trying to stay calm and make contact because I knew if I made contact with the ball, it was going to go. Just focusing on staying calm and hitting the ball," Yamashita added.

Senior Tasi Taufahema got the start for the Punahou and allowed only two hits and no runs through the first four innings before giving up five runs in the fifth. Her offense provided quick run support in the form of nine runs in those first four innings, and three more in the bottom of the fifth.

In the bottom of the first, after two-out singles from Lexi Hinahara and Taufahema, a Yamashita double into left center field opened the scoring. Sydney Capello followed that up with a double to the right field wall, driving in two more runs before the end of the inning. The bottom of the second saw Ho send her first home run over the left field fence. Yamashita followed suit to lead off the bottom of the third, sending a solo shot to center field before Maryknoll ace Molly Davi walked a batter, committed an error, and gave up an RBI single before being relieved from the game by 3-year All-State senior Jennalyn Sniffen. Ho adjusted to the pitching change well, cracking a second homer over the left field fence—this time for two RBIs—before Sniffen got out of the inning. Although their fourth inning was uneventful, the Buff and Blue had all the momentum on their side going into the top of the fifth.

Maryknoll's offense woke up in the top of the fifth, when a Briana Sarae double down the left field line led to a Ciana Kamisato RBI single. After Sniffen was intentionally walked, Kasi Cruz drove Kamisato in with a hit to right field. With runners on first and third, Palehua stepped up to the plate and crushed a three-run homer over the center field wall, bringing their deficit down to just four runs with a score of 9-5. After walking the next batter, Taufahmea was relieved by senior Chazelle Mokiao. Suddenly, we had a game on our hands.

However, Ho and Yamashita quickly calmed nerves with a lead-off homer and a two-run blast to left field, respectively. After a quiet top of the sixth from the Spartans, freshman Kahiau Aina put the final nail in the coffin with a two-run home run of her own. Solo homers from Sniffen and Taufahema in the top of the seventh weren't enough to overcome the deficit, and Punahou ended up running away with the win.

The victory means Punahou has won seven out of their last eight games, which would give them the tiebreaker for the number one spot in the ILH - provided they come out with a win against Kamehameha on Saturday.

When asked about the win and the team's position, Yamshita and Ho were on the same page.

"It feels great. We worked hard and practiced every day, and it feels good to come out on top and beat Maryknoll. As a team, we are trying to stay as composed as we can. We know we can beat anyone in the state, and we know that if we are working hard and hitting, we will do good," Yamashita said.

"All season, we have been trying to work to beat them because they have been on top so far. These wins are obviously giving us momentum, but we know we can't let up, and we just have to go hard through it all," Ho said.

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