Aiea Softball Team Faces Saturday Showdown With Kalaheo
For the Aiea girls softball team, the next 10 days will equate to “the season within the season” as it looks to make a late run for the OIA White title.
With three games remaining, beginning with a road date with Kalaheo Saturday, every game is huge. A look at the Aiea-Kalaheo matchup, as well as Thursday’s games involving Division I teams Campbell, Kapolei, Pearl City and Waipahu, is below.
Mililani at Campbell – 3:30 p.m. Thursday
Pending the outcome of last Saturday’s Leilehua game, and depending on the outcome of this game, the door was open for the Sabers to move into the top spot in the Red West, not to mention gain the upper hand for a favorable seed in the conference tournament. Campbell entered last weekend a game behind those programs as well as Waianae. It’s a monumental matchup, as Campbell will close out its season with three straight games on the road: at Waipahu April 15, at Pearl City April 17 and at Kapolei April 19. All three of Campbell’s losses have come by a single run.
Defense, meanwhile, has carried Mililani to date, as it yielded just nine runs in its first seven games, winning three by shutout and giving up just one run in two others.
Kapolei at Leilehua – 3:30 p.m. Thursday
Only a handful of plays prevented Kapolei from having a much better record during the first round in the Red West, as it dropped heartbreaking games to Waianae 1-0, Pearl City 1-0 and Campbell 4-3. A 3-1 breakthrough win over league-leader Mililani March 31 could figure big down the road, should the Hurricanes end up tied with the Trojans for a favorable seeding at the OIA tournament. Perhaps no game on its remaining schedule is bigger than this one. Games with Waipahu and rival Campbell follow for the Hurricanes, who were 3-4 heading into last weekend. Sophomore pitcher Kayla Pedebone has been the workhorse to date, with 34 innings of work through six outings.
For Leilehua’s part, the Mules are the top offensive team in the league, having tallied a Red West-best 44 runs in their first seven games. This is the first of two games in as many days for Leilehua, which will play at Mililani Friday.
Waipahu at Pearl City – 3:30 p.m. Thursday
The Chargers were the Red West’s hard-luck team through the first half of league play, dropping close games to Leilehua 11-9, Waianae 4-3 and Campbell 5-4. Those setbacks followed a 2-0 start by Pearl City. The Chargers still held a two-game lead on Waipahu for the last playoff spot from the West for the OIA tournament, heading into the weekend. Pearl City can improve its post-season seeding considerably if it can go on a run over the last week of the season as they close out their slate against three of the league’s best – Waianae, Campbell and Mililani.
For Waipahu, runs have been hard to come by to date, as the Marauders had scored just six runs in their first seven games.
Aiea at Kalaheo – 3 p.m. Saturday
Following a 3-1 loss to OIA White leader Nanakuli in its opener, Aiea has been on a roll, winning six straight. Na Ali’i’s task is to keep winning to keep pace with the Golden Hawks. That makes this game with Kalaheo a key contest, especially since it is the last of three straight road games for Aiea. Its last two games – against McKinley April 14 and Farrington April 17 – both will be at home.
In addition to its pitching and defensive play, Aiea has been able to count on its offensive output all season, with 87 runs scored in seven outings. It won March 27.