The fundamentals are down, the basics are covered
Honokaa High’s softball team is ready to move forward and the Dragons took a small first step Monday, beating Hawaii Prep 14-4 in a BIIF season-opener at their Parks and Recreation complex field.
Alexis Martinez pitched three smooth innings and Honokaa took advantage of Ka Makani fielding woes in the fourth to score nine runs, winning in the fifth via TKO.
Virgil Augustin enters his second season as coach after a whirlwind debut campaign that saw Honokaa go 7-11, including a two-game sweep to Konawaena in the BIIF Division II semifinals.
“We have a better head start because I knew I was going to be the coach this year,” Augustin said. “Most of the girls that are leading the team know what we’re trying to get them to do.
“Our main strength is softball knowledge. They’ve been playing together for a little while now.”
Leadoff hitter Natasha Molina collected two hits as the top for batters in the lineup combined to go 6 for 10. Martinez was only touched for a hit and no walks with four strikeouts in throwing 36 pitches.
“I believe she’ll be our main pitcher,” Augustin said. “She did what we requested of her and worked in the offseason with a club team off-island.
“She has a little better accuracy and worked on her array of pitches.”
Molina led off the first and third with hits and came around to score, crossing the plate three times in all.
In the fourth, Honokaa turned three hits (Hollie Reyes, Xyan Ancheta, Shaela Jardine), two walks, a hit batter and five errors into nine run to take a 12-0 lead.
“We just need to stick to our game plan,” Augustin said. “We were lacking some things last season.”
Hillary Connors started and yielded five earned runs for HPA, and she hit a two-run triple in the fifth as Ka Makani scored four runs. Emily Fong’s double scored Jordan Zarate, who reached on a walk, and Kiai Lindsey added an RBI double.
HPA is coming off of a 3-13 campaign.
Sophomore Ceelyn Gali-Lucero, who drove in a run in the fourth at designated-hitter, is a player Augustin is excited to see develop.
“She has a good bat,” he said.
Konawaena 23, Ka’u 3: Kaimana Joy Monzano compiled five hits with two RBIs, Shaylann Grace posted three hits and Andi Uemura picked up the victory as the won their opener in Pahala.
Reishalyn Kekoa Jara had two hits for the Trojans, while CeAndrea Silva-Kamei was the losing pitcher. Ka’u was charged with 14 errors.
Ana Medeiros helped pace Konawaena attack with two hits. Ahead 8-3 after three innings, the Wildcats struck for six runs in the fourth and nine in the fifth for the TKO win.
Pahoa at Waiakea: The game was postponed by rain and rescheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday.