Pearl City’s ‘Fab Five’ Bowlers Return For Thursday Match

The long off-season did little to undermine the Pearl City girls bowling team’s momentum, according to longtime head coach Millie Gomes.

“They’re even more excited this year,” she said. “They’re just happy to be bowling with each other again. It’s like 10 months since we were together, but it’s as if they never left each other. They’re a fun team.

“I love this team,” she added.

The Lady Chargers were the toast of the community last November when they took home a third straight state title.

This time around, Gomes and company are trying to become the first program in state tournament history to win a fourth consecutive title. With all five bowlers back from last year, the team is favored to accomplish that feat.

“They’ve shown a lot of maturity, and everyone has been upping their game,” Gomes said.

Leading the way is junior Chelsi Morishige, whose total pin-fall of 1,747 allowed her to capture the individual state title last fall. She had taken second at the OIA finals earlier in October, but rebounded big at states.

She continued her upward mobility in March by bowling a perfect game in a Leeward Junior Bowling Club match.

“She has a lot of potential for college bowling,” Gomes said. “She practices a lot, and she’s a good reader of the lanes. She can adjust quickly.”

Morishige and fellow returnees Kylie Malilay, Ashlyn-Rae Castro, Kristin Frost and Sasha Calistro-Nomura have been christened as Pearl City’s version of “The Fab Five” by Gomes.

“Kylie is our team captain this year,” Gomes said. “Her strength is that she’s very positive. She’s a big contributor to our team. Sasha was our secret weapon last year. Now everyone knows about her. She brings a lot to our team.

“Ashlyn has improved her game a lot,” she added. “I see a lot of big games coming from her this year. Kristin is our lead-off bowler. She sets the pace. She’s an all-around athlete. She’s the top of the crop in everything she does.”

The Chargers also have added a pair of freshmen to their 2014 roster in Sydni Inafuku and Emalani Badua.

Pearl City returns to action at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Schofield Bowl for a match alongside their OIA West counterparts. The Chargers’ season ends the last week of September.

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