Critical Games This Week For WW Girls Softball Playoffs
By JACK DANILEWICZ
For Castle, Kalaheo, Kailua and Kahuku, perhaps no week will be more critical than this week with the OIA girls softball season drawing to a close. Playoff berths and favorable seedings are pending the outcomes of this week’s action for all four schools. A look at the matchups for this week’s key games is below.
Kailua vs. Moanalua at Central Oahu Regional Park – 3:30 p.m. Thursday
With several rain-outs in the first round of their Red East slate, the Surfriders had played only four games as of late last week, compared to the eight played by Moanalua. That makes this matchup all the more important for Kailua, which stood at 2-2 heading into last Friday’s game with Roosevelt. With Moanalua leading the league at 7-1 (along with 7-1 Kaiser) a win here would obviously be huge for Kailua in its bid for a title, not to mention a favorable bid in the OIA tournament. Kailua was overwhelmed by a 13-2 count in the first meeting between the teams March 15, surrendering 17 hits in the process. Defense and pitching have been Na Menehune’s forte to date.
Moanalua already has three shutouts to its credit, while giving up only a single run in two other contests. Kailua has two games left following this contest – versus Castle April 17 at CORP and against Kahuku April 19 at home.
Roosevelt at Castle – 3:30 p.m. Thursday
It has been an up-and-down season so far for Castle, which took a three-game losing streak into its game with Kaimuki last Thursday. That stretch had followed a three-game win streak by the Knights, who stood at 3-4 through seven games. With that in mind, every game is now critical for Castle, which still has games remaining with Kahuku Saturday, Kailua April 17 and Kaiser April 19, in order to earn a good playoff seeding. On paper, this game with Roosevelt would seem a favorable matchup, given Castle’s dominance in a 12-1 rout of the Rough Riders in the first meeting between the teams March 15. For its part, Roosevelt had played just four games as of late last week because of rain-outs. The Rough Riders were 1-3 through that span, with a win over Kaimuki as their lone victory.
Kahuku at Kaimuki – 3:30 p.m. Thursday
Like their Windward counterparts, inclement weather has disrupted Kahuku’s schedule so far in 2014, as it had played just four games as of late last week. Kahuku and Kaimuki were still winless at that point, making this game monumental for both, since the outcome of the game (as well as their yet-to-be scheduled second game) could possibly determine who earns the sixth and final seed for the OIA tournament. Run production has been an issue for Kahuku to date. While it posted six runs in a close loss to Castle March 20, Kahuku tallied just two runs combined in its three losses. Kaimuki also has found generating offense hard to come by, having been outscored 61-3 in their first four games. Kahuku’s remaining games are versus Castle at home this Saturday and Kailua April 19, away.
Aiea at Kalaheo – 3 p.m. Saturday
Kalaheo took a 4-4 mark into last weekend’s action, temporarily securing the fifth seed for the OIA White tournament. As the top six teams earn berths, the outcome of this matchup with Aiea, as well as the Mustangs’ April 19 game with Waialua, will figure big in Kalaheo’s goal to secure a post-season spot. Aiea entered last weekend very much in the hunt for the White season crown, meanwhile, having reeled off six straight wins after a loss to league-leader Nanakuli in its opener. An 11-5 win over Kalaheo March 27 was included in Aiea’s six-game win streak.