Kahuku Girls Softball: A Season Of ‘Peaks And Valleys’

Count Kahuku head softball coach Ed Davis among those who believe that peak performance begins in one’s head. As his team hit the straightaway of its season, getting the mental edge is a high priority.

“No doubt, it’s about our mental preparedness,” said Davis, whose team took a 5-3 record into last weekend with three games to play in the season. “Physically, this team has all the attributes. It’s our mental attitude that we’ll be working on. When we play to our potential, we can play with anyone.”

The Red Raiders entered the spring with high expectations, having gone 16-1 last year in addition to making the Division II state championship game. Kahuku was also the OIA DII champ last season. This year, it’s seen its share of peaks and valleys, which is one of the reasons for the three losses, according to Davis.

“We tend to be a team that’s really high or really low, and we never know which team is going to show up until we get into the ball game. We’re optimistic. We’re very, very capable of playing with anybody in the state. We also occasionally go through times when we make senseless mistakes that we are capable of not making. When we fall into that syndrome, we have issues.”

Saturday’s doubleheader with Kalaheo will figure big in both teams’ season since the Mustangs and Red Raiders were tied atop the East standings heading into last weekend.

Juniors Taina AmuaYamamoto and Kalynn Latu have carried the team to date, and both will likely have to carry the load in the post-season – if Kahuku is to make a run like last year. Latu plays second, while AmuaYamamoto is shortstop. They usually hit in the third or fourth spot in the batting order as well.

“Kalynn is our team captain and a great leader,” Davis said. “She’s a very, very good offensive and defensive player. It’s the same for Taina. She’s a great leader and excellent defensive player and power hitter.”

Davis also had high praise for senior catcher Kasey Capillian, who has been steady throughout her career. “She’s a leader, and she takes care of her catching responsibilities very well.”

Senior Kiana Humphries also has had an All-Conference-type season in center field.

“She’s been a super surprise in the outfield. She’s an excellent defensive player, and she’s fast on the base paths.”

Offensively, Kahuku amassed 96 runs in its first eight games, an average of 12 runs per outing.

“Our hitting has probably been our best feature, and then our defense,” Davis said. “Whoever ends up hitting in the (OIA) tournament is going to win it. There will be good pitching all the way around in the post-season.

“Hitting and base-running will decide it.”