May 9—Milla Fukuda singled with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to score Kaylee Matsuda from third base as 'Iolani outlasted Kamehameha 7-6 in the semifinals of the ILH softball playoffs Saturday.
The Raiders meet Maryknoll for the league championship Wednesday at (McKinley ) Tiger Softball Stadium.
"I'm just happy for them. We wouldn't have known we were playing for the championship on Wednesday, " coach Benny Agbayani said.
Ailana Agbayani pitched six innings in relief to earn the win. The junior allowed three runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and one walk. In a gauntlet of ILH softball, that is just about as good as it gets on the mound.
"She was exceptional. She is a tough competitor. She knows ... I expect a lot out of her, " coach Agbayani said of his daughter.
"I'm extremely proud of them. It was a great opportunity and a fantastic game, " Kamehameha coach Leo Sing Chow said.
'Iolani overcame a two-run single in the first inning and an RBI triple in the third by Nikki Donahue. The Warriors also got a solo home run by Destiny Lum and a key two-run homer by Kenna Higa.
'Iolani got a clutch two-run triple by Matsuda in the third inning. Lexie Tilton drove in a run on a ground ball in the Raiders' three-run fourth inning to take the lead. Agbayani added a run-scoring single and Allie Capello ripped a run-scoring double for a 5-4 lead.
Maya Ichimura belted an inside-the-park home run in the fifth inning for a 6-4 Raiders lead.
Kamehameha reached Agbayani for two huge runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 6. Keila Kamoku's liner to right-center was speared by the right fielder Capello, who made a diving grab. However, as she laid on the grass, she lifted her glove to show the ball was in it, and it then fell out. Umpires ruled it a hit to the chagrin of Benny Agbayani.
The next batter, Higa, hit a home run to right-center, tying the game.
"They said she didn't have control of the ball. She made a web gem. You've got to give the girl credit for making a catch like that. She lost the ball as she was getting up. I didn't like it, but I have to live with it, " Agbayani said.
Ailana Agbayani retired the next three Warriors batters.
In the bottom of the seventh, Matsuda led off with a single to left. Coach Agbayani then called for sacrifice bunts by Maya Ichimura and Keely Kai. That set up Fukuda, a left-handed hitter, with two outs and Matsuda at third.
"We all had to work together to score all the runs throughout all the innings so we could come into the last inning and score that last run again to win, " said Fukuda, a sophomore, who hit the ball to the opposite field. "I try to go with the pitch, and that's what we work on at practice."
The last time they met, 'Iolani rallied from seven runs down for a wild 18-17 win over Maryknoll.
"We're the underdogs. We've got to battle, " coach Agbayani said. "Every pitch, every inning. They're a powerful team. We've just got to be better that night. We're just happy to be where we're at, representing 'Iolani softball."
At Ala Wai 2 One out when winning run scored in the seventh.
Kamehameha (7-5 ) 211 000 2—6 11 2 'Iolani (8-2 ) 002 310 1—7 7 0 Madison Rabe and Nikki Donahue. Allie Capello, Alaina Agbayani (2 ) and Keely Kai. W—Agbayani. L—Rabe.
Leading hitters—Kamehameha : Keila Kamoku 2-4, 2 runs, double, SB ; Kenna Higa 2-4, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 runs ; Donahue 2-4 triple, 3 RBIs ; Destiny Lum 1-3, HR, RBI, run, walk. 'Iolani : Capello 1-2, RBI, run, double, 2 walks ; Kaylee Matsuda 2-4, 2 RBIs, run, triple ; Maya Ichimura 1-1, HR, RBI, run, walk, HBP.—For more Hawaii high school sports, visit the.