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Kapaa bats drive sweep over Kauai

LIHUE — Kapaa High School softball team’s bats were hot, and the Warriors took both ends of its double-header against Kauai, 13-4, 15-1 during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation softball games at the Isenberg Park.

“Everything we do is data-driven,” said Kapaa coach Francis Takasaki. “The bats change weekly — bats go up, bats go down. We practice based on statistics.”

Kapaa bats connected for 12 hits in its opening 13-4 win, including getting eight connections in the first two innings when the Warriors piled up seven runs for the 7-0 go-ahead, including an RBI double from Savannah Simons in the first inning, an RBI single in the second frame, an RBI single from pitcher Shanayah Marshall, and an RBI double from Seija Makanani in the second frame.

Kauai answered in the third frame, knocking its first three hits for three hits, including a 2-RBI double from Kayla Blackstad, and an RBI single from Justice Funamura-Sasil.

“We’re still working to build,” said Kauai coach Shanna Tafiti. “The girls are working hard at practice, and we’re working to have them turn.”

Marshall spent time on the mound for both matches, holding the Raiders to three runs on five hits while striking out four batters, and walking two before being relieved by Makanani who closed the first matchup with one run crossing on one hit while walking one and striking out three Raider hitters.

Kauai, strapped with an injury to its starting pitcher, turned to Ashley Ramos for the first match, Ramos going the distance with 12 hits allowed, striking out one, walking one, and hitting two Warrior batters.

Shalee Telles-Kelekoma topped the Warrior bats in the first game on a triple, and scoring once. She was followed by Simons and Makanani, Simons marking two RBI, and Makanani marking one in their double, and single production, respectively.

Blackstad topped the Kauai bats with a double and a pair of singles with three RBI. Jordyn Chong Tim and Stephanie Lopes each singled.

More bats exploded in the second outing, topped by a three-run homerun from Shaylin Rivera in Kapaa’s 15-1 win that shortened the contest to five innings based on the 10-run ruling.

Marshall went the distance on the mound, giving up the one run on five hits, walking two and hitting one batter.

Cody Lagazo took the mound chores for Kauai in the second match, giving up eight hits while striking out three, and walking two.

Following Rivera’s homer, Simons finished with a pair of doubles and a single with a run batted in. Makanani finished with a double and a single with four runs batted in.

“It’s a fine line between having fun and being intense,” Takasaki said. “But it’s all based on the statistics.”

Lagazo helped herself on the mound for Kauai, nailing a single with a run batted in. Funamura-Sasil doubled, Lopes, and Chong Tim each singled.

Kapaa next hosts Waimea, Wednesday in a single match starting at 3:30 p.m. at the Kapaa High School facility.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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