It was a classic pitchers’ duel between Kamehameha’s Brooke Baptiste and Kohala’s Mikayla Kekoa, but the little things that made the biggest difference.
Baptiste fired a four-hitter with 13 strikeouts, and the Warriors scored two unearned runs for a 3-2 win over the Cowgirls in a BIIF Division II game on Monday at Walter Victor complex.
The senior right-hander allowed two runs on Kekoa’s two-run homer in the third inning and worked her way around six walks. Her defense committed two errors; both were unharmful.
“I was trying to hit my spots and make sure my pitches were working,” Baptiste said. “My changeup was working good and my rise sometimes.”
Kekoa fired a five-hitter, went six innings and took a tough loss against a Warriors team that had won its first seven games by a combined 106-4 . She allowed three runs (only one was earned), walked two and struck out seven.
She batted 2 for 4 with two RBIs and was the only Cowgirl to pair hits.
Her defense made one error but it led to two unearned runs. A pair of passed balls didn’t help.
In the second, Leiloa Bustamante tripled and scored on a passed ball.
After Kekoa’s two-run homer, the Warriors (8-0) answered in the bottom of the third.
Dioni Lincoln doubled with two outs and scored on Kuulei Ili’s RBI single. Baptiste followed with a walk, and a passed ball advanced both runners.
Bustamante had an RBI single for another unearned run and a 3-2 lead.
Passed balls don’t count as errors, but they can be just as painful. One scored from home, and another advanced a Kamehameha runner on the bases. Passed balls can also lead to unearned runs and a loss.
“Our defense has to back up our pitchers. We’re still young and green,” Kohala coach Terrence Alcoran said after his team fell to 7-2. “But we’re getting better.”
Ili and Bustamante each batted 2 for 3 with an RBI, and Lincoln was 1 for 3 with a run scored.
In the seventh, the Cowboys made a little bit of noise when Cheylin Imai reached on an error with one out and up stepped Kekoa. But Baptiste soon silenced the threat.
She got Kekoa to fly out to right-center field and recorded a strikeout for her complete-game gem.
Baptiste doesn’t put an extra emphasis when facing another team’s ace.
“It’s just another game,” she said.
That’s the mindset of the Kamehameha ace, whose composure on the mound may be her biggest weapon.
“She does what she has to do, and the defense backs her up,” said Kamehameha assistant Russell Ili, who filled in for coach Akea Kiyuna, who was at a conference. “She stays relaxed and stays calm.
“After that homer off of her, it didn’t faze her at all. That’s what we expect out of her.”
Waiakea 16, Keaau 0: Kayla Kodani pitched a two-hitter in a four-inning win, and Alize Ka’apana batted 2 for 3 with three RBIs and Halee Sweat went 2 for 3 with two RBIs for the Warriors, who pounded out 12 hits.
Kodani and Tristen Cullio added two hits each while Lyndsey-Mae Carvalho had two RBIs.
Bryana Grace went 2 1/3 innings in the loss. Anela Gonzales went the final 1 2/3 innings.
Honokaa 17, Konawaena 7: Shalysha Chung-Haslam batted 2 for 3 with four RBIs, Shaela Jardine, Destynee Carvalho, and Waiehu Kauahi-Raquel each had two RBIs for the Dragons, who made the most of their eight hits.
Kierra Molina added two hits, and Tehani Epenesa went the distance for the win. She walked one and struck out six.
Ana Medeiros hit a solo homer, Kailynn Kahoonei had two hits and three RBIs, Erin Bates had two hits and two RBIs while Andi Uemura, and Moo Fautuna had two hits each.
Bates went three innings in the loss. Uemura pitched the final four innings.
It was a slight upset because the Wildcats are two-time BIIF runner-ups, and the Dragons have been the league’s No. 4 team the last two years.