The Maui Interscholastic League has not seen a game like this in almost three years.
Known simply as “L.B.” by those who know her, Lakaiya-Braessia Kahahawai-Kekona, made the most, of the day.
On Tuesday, Baldwin High School’s senior shortstop hit a triple on the first pitch that she saw in the eighth innings to the center-right field gap. This drove Makanani Sonognini to the plate with the eventual winning run. It was a thrilling 9-8 victory for the Baldwin Bears over the Sabers of Maui High School.
Kahahawai-Kekona was on her way as a freshman to a Maui Interscholastic League first team all-star in 2019, and that was the last time softball fans had seen her.
After missing two seasons due to COVID-19 outbreak L.B. is now back on the field as a senior leader with another strong Baldwin Bears team. Kahahawai-Kekona will play at Dixie State University next season.
The drama continued as the Bears battled back against 4-0, 5-3, and 8-5 deficits. They scored three runs in the seventh inning to tie it up.
The Bears are 2-0 in MIL play. The Sabers drop to 1-1.
Bears coach Sanoe Montilliano Kekahuna was married since the last season took place. She was grateful to be back before a crowd, Tuesday night at Mink Field.
Lauren Otsubo, a junior pitcher, got the win with Kahahawai Kekona’s heroics. She didn’t worry, even with three deficits throughout the game.
Otsubo faced 44 batters, giving up 14 hits and had 82 strikes on 138 pitches. She struck out 8 batters and walked 4.
Breani Kahalehau was the Sabers’ ace at the plate, going 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run. Beatty went 3-for-4 and had two RBIs.