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Leilehua And Mililani Girls Ready For Softball Postseason

At long last, the second season has arrived for both Leilehua and Mililani softball teams.

First up, both teams will play in this week’s OIA Red tournament, running Tuesday-Friday at various sites. (Thursday’s semifinals and Friday’s championship will be at Central Oahu Regional Park.)

Berths for the upcoming Division I state softball championships also will be on the line, as the top six finishers at the OIA tourney will get bids.

Pairings for the conference tournament were to be finalized Saturday.

Central Oahu Islander takes a look at postseason prospects for Leilehua and Mililani.

Leilehua Mules

Record: 7-4 heading into their season finale with Mililani late last week. The Mules were expecting to earn the fifth or sixth seed from the West for this week’s OIA tournament.

Wins: Waianae 19-5 March 13, Waipahu 12-7 March 21, Waianae 10-3 April 9, and Waipahu 12-5 April 16 Losses: Kapolei 6-4

March 7, Campbell 7-3 March 10, Pearl City 5-1 March 24, Mililani 8-0 March 28, Kapolei 5-2 March 31, Campbell 6-1 April 4, and Pearl City 9-2 April 18 Leilehua at a glance: The Mules probably deserved a better fate in the win-loss department, but the OIA playoffs offer new life.

If you remove Leilehua’s 8-0 loss to Mililani in the first round of the season, the Mules were in every game throughout their West slate and no doubt will be a dangerous opponent this week. Leilehua is seeking its third straight state softball tournament appearance and its fourth in five years. (It finished fourth in the state last year.)

Leilehua enters the post-season with a pair of good pitchers in Chelsea Lobitos and Chasity Stalcup, who have logged 29 and 24 innings, respectively.

The greater chore this week will be finding a way to boost offensive output. Leilehua is 0-6 this spring when scoring three runs or less. Lobitos and Ashley Salausa are among the conference’s top offensive weapons. Both rank among the OIA Red leaders in hitting.

Mililani Trojans

Record: 9-1-1 heading into its season finale late last week versus Leilehua. Mililani has clinched the second seed, and a first-round bye, for this week’s OIA tournament, regardless of the outcome against Leilehua.

Wins: Pearl City 3-2 March 7, Waianae 12-0 March 10, Waipahu 2-1 March 17, Kapolei 11-4 March 20, Campbell 6-5 March 24, Leilehua 8-0 March 28, Waianae 17-0 April 4, Waipahu 7-6 April 14, Kapolei 11-0 April 16

Ties: Pearl City (3-3 in six innings) March 31

Losses: Campbell 10-4 April 18

Trojans at a glance: Under head coach Rose Antonios, Mililani has been one of Hawaii’s elite programs with four OIA titles and three state titles since the state tournament was separated into two divisions in 2004. That includes last year’s riveting postseason run, which saw Mililani win both the OIA and DI state titles.

The 2015 Trojans appear to be cut from similar cloth, having dropped only one game as of late last week, that one coming to old nemesis and fellow West powerhouse Campbell.

Trojan pitcher Aubree Kim, who figured big in Mililani’s 2014 title run as a sophomore, has continued her stellar play this year, tallying an OIA-high 47 innings pitched through 11 games. Her 56 strikeouts tie her for first in the OIA with Campbell ace Elisa Favela. Kim also had four shutouts.

Catcher Kylie-Ann Bello has provided some offensive punch, batting .500 through 11 games to rank among the Red leaders.

The team’s ability to win close games this spring has been one of the reasons why it was able to secure a No. 2 seed, as it has a 4-0-1 record in games decided by one run. jackster.1969@yahoo.com