Posted with permission, article and pictures, from Chaminade University
KANEOHE, O’ahu, Hawai’i – Few knew it at the time but the long ball would be a major storyline in Monday’s series opening doubleheader between the Chaminade University and Academy of Art softball teams at Howard Okita Field on the Hawai’i Pacific University’s Hawai’i Loa campus.
Malia Ka`akimaka-Moisa (Ewa Beach, O’ahu, Hawai’i/Campbell) crushed a solo shot in the sixth inning of Game 1, breaking a 2-2 deadlock to help the Silverswords take the first game, 3-2, helping give head coach Kent Yamaguchi his 200th career win.
However, the Urban Knights hit three homers of their own, including a big seventh-inning two-run blast by Lauryn Henderson in the nightcap which helped Academy of Art gain a split with its 6-3 victory.
Chaminade is 13-22 overall and 9-17 in the Pacific West Conference while Academy of Art is 8-37 and 5-17.
Game 1: CUH 3, ART U 2
After Ka’akimaka-Moisa and Kobe Brown (Mililani, O’ahu, Hawai’i/Mililani) led off the second inning with consecutive singles, Taylor Genera (Norwalk, Calif./Whitney) ripped a double to the right-center field gap, scoring both runners.
ART U would tie it at 2 on an RBI knock in the fourth and a Haley Randall home run in the fifth.
But Ka’akimaka-Moisa unknotted the deadlock, crushing reliever Jolene Rhoades’ 2-1 pitch over the left field fence, her first homer since March 2019, to put the ‘Swords ahead.
In the seventh, Jaeda Cabunoc (Kaneohe, O’ahu, Hawai’i/Roosevelt) allowed the tying run to get on but got Cassandra Mittman to hit a line drive to center to end the game.
Ka’akimaka-Moisa and Brown had two hits each, half of Chaminade’s eight knocks. Cabunoc scattered 10 hits and struck out two to improve to 8-12.
Rhoades tossed two innings of relief but suffered the loss to fall to 5-15.
Game 2: ART U 6, CUH 3
After Academy of Art scored a run in the top of the first, the Silverswords responded in their half of the frame with the assistance of shoddy ART U defense. With runners at the corners and one out, Taryn Fujioka (Aiea, O’ahu, Hawai’i/Pearl City) moved to second on a wild pitch but the throw to the base was mishandled, allowing Bailey Jacobsen (Buena Park, Calif./Cypress) to scamper home.
Ka’akimaka-Moisa followed with a one-hop rip to Randall but the ball skipped through her wickets, allowing her motor all the way to third and bringing Fujioka in to put Chaminade up, 2-1. Brown then gave the ‘Swords their third run with a single to center.
However, the bugaboo that has plagued them for much of the season appeared again. The Silverswords had runners in scoring position in the second and had another runner thrown out at the plate in the fifth.
The Urban Knights would get a run in their half of the fifth then a single by Alyssa Brundage in the sixth was bobbled in the outfield, allowing the tying run to score.
Chaminade had a golden chance when ART U gift-wrapped two runners with a pair of errors. Fujioka walked to load the bases but the ‘Swords couldn’t push across the go-ahead run.
The Urban Knights took advantage in the top of the seventh. Alyssa Rasmussen, a Punahou graduate returning home, doubled in the go-ahead run. Two batters later, Henderson provided insurance with a two-run blast and a 6-3 Academy of Art lead. Henderson’s homer was also the 23rd of her career, which broke the school record.
Brown picked up her second two-hit game of the day while Fujioka also provided a pair of knocks, part of Chaminade’s nine-hit game. Genera was saddled with the loss to fall to 5-8. The team also turned double plays in both games, giving them a conference-best 24 on the year.
Haley Arnold-Jolley picked up the win to improve to 2-14 while Rhoades came in the seventh to lock down her first save of the year.
The ‘Swords and Urban Knights will conclude their four-game series Tuesday with first pitch at Okita Field starting at 1 p.m.