Much Is At Stake For West Softball Teams In OIA Tourney
As the OIA Division I and Division II softball tournaments get under way today (April 23), much is at stake for West Oahu’s Aiea, Campbell, Kapolei and Pearl City teams as they look to secure berths in the state tournaments. A preview of each team’s prospects is below. (Pairings for the OIA tourneys were to be announced after press time.) Aiea High School Season record: 9- 1 (entering last weekend)
Key wins: Over Waialua 5-0 March 13, over Kalaheo 17- 4 April 12, over McKinley 12-4 March 11.
What to watch — Na Ali‘i at a glance: Perhaps no OIA team enters the post- season with more momentum than Aiea, which had won nine straight games as of late last Thursday. Its only loss came in the seasonopener to Nanakuli (3-1), which was still undefeated entering last weekend. A rematch between the teams is a good possibility this week, with Waialua also expected to be the race for the White title.
Pitching and defense have been Aiea’s forte. The team had yielded just 17 runs in its first 10 games, and five of its nine wins were by shutout. Aiea took third in the OIA White last year en route to a DII state tournament berth. Campbell High School Season record: 7- 3 (entering last weekend)
Key wins: Over Kapolei 4- 3 March 27, over Leilehua 11-9 April 5, over Mililani 5-2 April 10
What to watch — Sabers at a glance: Campbell has been the Red West’s hottest team of late with wins in six of its last seven games prior to last weekend. Included in that stretch was a win over Mililani, which had held a halfgame lead over the Sabers for the top spot in the league standings.
Close encounters have defined Campbell’s season to date, as six of its first 10 games were decided by a single run. The Sabers went 3-3 in those games. Campbell first baseman Caragh Smith has homered three times for the Sabers this spring, twice in a win over Leilehua April 5 Kapolei High School Season record: 5- 5 (entering last weekend)
Key wins: Over Mililani 3-1 March 31, over Pearl City 6-1 April 5, over Leilehua 11-2 April 10
What to watch — Hurricanes at a glance: Despite only a .500 mark heading into last weekend, Kapolei could be a very dangerous team at this week’s tournament, given that it lost four games by a single run during the regular season. Kapolei also is playing its best softball now, having won three of its last four games during a recent stretch and five of its last seven since starting 0- 3 in league play. A 3- 1 win over league- leader Mililani was its most impressive win.
Kayla Pedebone has been the workhorse on the mound to date, while infielder Amayha Dycus is batting .556. Pearl City High School Season record: 4- 6 (entering last weekend)
Key wins: Over Kapolei 1- 0 March 13, over Leilehua 6-4 April 3, over Waipahu 11-4 April 10.
What to watch — Chargers at a glance: The Chargers hoped to strengthen their playoff seeding last Thursday and Saturday when they closed out the season with key home games versus Campbell and Mililani, respectively. Like Kapolei, Pearl City was only a few plays away from a much better season mark, as it dropped three heartbreakers to Leilehua (119), Waianae ( 4- 3) and Campbell (5-4) in a fourday time span.
The Chargers also could have won the rematch with Waianae, as they lost by a 1-0 count. If they can continue to score runs, they have a chance to be in the mix this week.