Posted permission, article and pictures, courtesy of Chaminade University
HILO, Hawai’i – The Chaminade University softball team ended the 2022 season Saturday by splitting its doubleheader against the University of Hawai’i Hilo at UH Hilo Softball Field.
The Silverswords dropped the opener, 4-1, but rebounded with a 2-1 win in the nightcap.
Kobe Brown (Mililani, O’ahu, Hawai’i/Mililani) totaled three hits on the afternoon as the ‘Swords won the season series from Vulcans, taking three of the four meetings this season.
Chaminade ended the season 16-25 overall – its most wins since 2013 – and 12-20 in the Pacific West Conference while UH Hilo finished 17-20 and 13-15.
Game 1: UHH 4, CUH 1
UH Hilo got its two first runs without the benefit of a base hit. With runners at the corners in the third inning, Angel Prewitt was thrown out trying to steal second. However, that allowed Nikki Zielinski to scamper home for their first run. In the fourth, the Silverswords got an out on a pop-up in foul territory but Brandee Chinen scored from third to put the Vulcans up 2-0.
Chaminade got its lone run of the game in the sixth with the help of the bench. After Brown reached second on an infield single and throwing error, pinch runner Kieren Lopez (Bakersfield, Calif./Frontier) made a heads-up base running play, swiping third on a groundout. Pinch-hitter Larchelle Tuifao (Ewa Beach, O’ahu, Hawai’i/Kapolei) then ripped the first pitch she saw from Tehani Seto into left to bring in Lopez, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
But the Vulcans countered with two insurance runs in their half of the sixth to claim the opener.
Brown and Keaolani Takemura (Pearl City, O’ahu, Hawai’i/Mid-Pacific Institute) each had two hits while Malia Ka`akimaka-Moisa (Ewa Beach, O’ahu, Hawai’i/Campbell) went hitless which ended her six-game hitting streak.
Starter Taylor Genera (Norwalk, Calif./Whitney) allowed just five hits with no walks to take the loss to fall to 6-10.
No Vulcan had more than one hit while Seto tossed the game’s final 3 2/3 innings of relief to pick up the win.
Game 2: CUH 2, UHH 1
Pitching dominated the first three innings with Jaeda Cabunoc (Kaneohe, O’ahu, Hawai’i/Roosevelt) allowing a harmless single and UH Hilo’s Alexis Lacy retiring the first nine she faced. Cabunoc got help on back-to-back putouts with Kailah Gates-Coyaso (Waianae, O’ahu, Hawai’i/Waianae) making a diving catch in foul territory for the first out of the game while Hailey Matsumura (Honolulu/Saint Francis) made her own diving grab of a foul ball liner on the next Vulcans at bat.
In the fourth, Taryn Fujioka (Aiea, O’ahu, Hawai’i/Pearl City) ended Lacy’s perfect game bid with a single to right. After swiping her ninth base this season, Fujioka came home on Brown’s base hit for the first run of the game. However, the Vulcans tied it in their half of the fourth on Taisha Bratton double.
Then in the fifth, Fujioka came through in the clutch with a two-out RBI single, allowing Yolanda Racaza (San Pedro, Calif./Port of Los Angeles), who walked to lead off the inning, to score the go-ahead run.
The ‘Swords came up with two big defensive plays to help preserve their lead. Gates-Coyaso threw out her sixth would-be base stealer for the first out. Ka’akimaka-Moisa then robbed Bratton with a spectacular diving catch in right-center for the second.
The situation got sticky in the bottom of the seventh when Arissa Lugo led off with an infield hit then moved to second on an error. A sacrifice bunt got Lugo to third representing the tying run but Cabunoc got a popup to Racaza at second for the second out followed by the game-finishing groundout to Takemura at shortstop to help the Silverswords end the season on a high note.
Of the seven hits Cabunoc allowed, only three left in the infield. She struck out one and did not issue a walk in picking up the win to finish the year 10-13. Fujioka had two of the ‘Swords four hits while Brown had one. Haley Hayakawa (Torrance, Calif./South) had the other, a pinch-hit single in the fifth.
Lacy lasted 4 2/3 innings in taking the loss, falling to 5-9 on the year. Chinen and Zielinski had two hits each for UH Hilo.
Saturday also marked the final career games for Ka’akimaka-Moisa, Matsumura and Racaza.