LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Protect Our Nation’s Youth Pinto All-Stars may have won their division play during a tournament played on Maui, but the Pinto division is not one of the teams advancing to play at the next level.
“Unfortunately, in this division, we are unable to advance to California,” said the Pinto All-Stars’ Team Mom Shantel Duarte. “But they deserve the honor. Each and every one of them represented our island exactly the way they should have. These kids played their hearts out, practicing day in and day out to secure the title. We are so proud of each and every one of them, and are happy to have had this experience.”
“We are 13 players and four coaching staff who are a part of an 8 and under team, the Kaua‘i Pinto All-Stars, that traveled to Maui in the latter part of June to represent the island of Kaua‘i at the 2023 Hawai‘i PONY State Tournament,” Shantel said.
The team’s opening day saw the Kaua‘i all-stars take a 13-0 technical knock out win over Maui Area, the contest being reported on by The Maui News.
The Kaua‘i Pinto All-Stars went on to defeat two teams, the Hilo Blue with a final score of 6-3 and Maui Host with a score of 6-2 to secure a spot in the finals.
During the semifinals, Kaua‘i Pinto All-Stars came up short by a run, 8-7, against Hilo Blue. Kaua‘i rebounded in the championship game to take Hilo Blue, 9-6 for the Hawai‘i Region Pinto Championship. The team’s final record was four wins and one loss.
“A huge mahalo to our coaches, who put in the countless amount of time to help the kids prepare for this level of travel ball,” Shantel said. “We would like to also thank all of our sponsors, who believed in these kids.”
The team’s sponsors include Aloha Plumbing Repair, Lashout Hawai‘i, Mauna Loa Helicopter Tours, Mokihana Property Maintenance, Kalawai Youth Baseball Club, Kaua‘i Vacation Rentals, West Side Fish & Feed and the team’s seamstress Terri Cardenas.
“Mahalo to all the parents and their ‘ohana for helping the kids get to Maui,” Shantel said. “We had a huge support system with all of our ‘ohana that were able to make the hop over from Kaua‘i.”
Source: The Garden Island