Lady Hawks Repeat as OIA White Division Softball Champions!

Coach Ricky Gusman

Coach Ricky Gusman

“Congratulations,” said Senator Maile Shimabukuro, “to coach Ricky Gusman, his staff, players, and supporters and the entire Nanakuli High School ‘ohana for winning, for the second year in a row, the OIA White Division Softball Championship! As a team, you continue to bring honor to the entire West Side. We’re all so very proud of your accomplishments! You’re a shining example of hard work, heart, teamwork, talent, and aloha for your community. Your success is a tribute to your coaches and families and especially to each of you. Very best wishes in the OIA Hawaii High School Athletic Association/DataHouse Division II Softball State Championships from April 30-May 3.”

“Congratulations,” said Patty Kahanamoku Teruya, a member of the Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board, “to the Nanakuli varsity softball Lady Hawks team for winning the 4/20/13 OIA Championship game against Kaiser High School! This is their 2nd year of bringing home the OIA win for the Wai’anae Coast and we are all so proud of each player and their coaches!”

Teruya continued, “Many many thanks to the strong support by their sponsors who continue to believe in our students, and without their support they would not have reached this far and look so good with their new uniforms. We appreciate you and God bless! (Sponsors PVT Land Company, HECO, Paradise LUA/KRP, Iron Workers and Operating Engineers Unions.) Our team will be traveling to Maui on April 30 through May 4 for the state final championship and playoffs. We wish them all the luck to take the state championship!”

“We are all so proud of the team’s achievement!” exclaimed Hanalei Aipoalani, chair of the Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board. “We are also proud of the other Nanakuli spring sports teams that made it to or are in their respective playoffs. Kulia I Ka Nu’u, Golden Hawks!”

“Congratulations to the Lady Hawks!” added Ben Yamamoto of PVT Land Co. “They did it again. We wish them the best in the State tournament.”

Lady Hawks 2013 roster: Lauren Ku OF/IF, Pearl Kealoha OF, Malu Kea-Basques OF, Ashley Van Gieson 1B, Keanani Chai OF, Amy Vitale C, Daria Kawaauhau 2B, Keisha Silva OF, Chyanne Koko P, Alexis Paulo-Meyers SS, Brayann Kekawa-Fred OF, Kelcie DeFreitas 3B, Raynette Meyers OF, Precious Paulo-Meyers C/IF, Emma Kawaiaea P/OF, Shaina Souza OF, Katherine Lundgren-Aiwohi 1B, Anela Woods 3B, Shaiann Treu IF.

[Note: Excerpts, caption, and photos below are from the Star-Advertiser, 4.21.13. Story by Jerry Campany, “Nanakuli Wraps Up Second Straight Crown“; photos by Bruce Asato.]

Star-Advertiser: Nanakuli's softball team celebrate after they won the OIA White Division Softball Championship by beating Kaiser at the Central Oahu Regional Park.

Star-Advertiser: Nanakuli’s softball team celebrates after they won the OIA White Division Softball Championship by beating Kaiser at the Central Oahu Regional Park.

Star-Advertiser: Nanakuli's Alexis Paulo-Meyers wipes tears from her eyes surrounded by her Nanakuli teammates after they won the OIA White Division Softball Championship by beating Kaiser at the Central Oahu Regional Park.

Star-Advertiser: Nanakuli’s Alexis Paulo-Meyers wipes tears from her eyes surrounded by her Nanakuli teammates after they won the OIA White Division Softball Championship by beating Kaiser at the Central Oahu Regional Park.

Star-Advertiser: Nanakuli's Chyanne Koko pitches in the OIA White Division Softball Championship against Kaiser at the Central Oahu Regional Park.

Star-Advertiser: Nanakuli’s Chyanne Koko pitches in the OIA White Division Softball Championship against Kaiser at the Central Oahu Regional Park.

Star-Advertiser: Nanakuli's catcher Precious Paulo-Meyers tags Kaiser's Na Pua (Tess) Ho trying to score at home for the final out of the OIA White Division Softball Championship, with Nanakuli beating Kaiser at the Central Oahu Regional Park.

Star-Advertiser: Nanakuli’s catcher Precious Paulo-Meyers tags Kaiser’s Na Pua (Tess) Ho trying to score at home for the final out of the OIA White Division Softball Championship, with Nanakuli beating Kaiser at the Central Oahu Regional Park.

Star-Advertiser: Nanakuli's Keanani Chai hits an RBI single in the 7th inning of the OIA White Division Softball Championship with Kaiser facing Nanakuli at the Central Oahu Regional Park.

Star-Advertiser: Nanakuli’s Keanani Chai hits an RBI single in the 7th inning of the OIA White Division Softball Championship with Kaiser facing Nanakuli at the Central Oahu Regional Park.

Star-Advertiser: Nanakuli's Ashley Van Gieson hits a double that scores two runs in the first inning of the OIA White Division Softball Championship with Kaiser facing Nanakuli at the Central Oahu Regional Park.

Star-Advertiser: Nanakuli’s Ashley Van Gieson hits a double that scores two runs in the first inning of the OIA White Division Softball Championship with Kaiser facing Nanakuli at the Central Oahu Regional Park.

Star-Advertiser:  Nanakuli's Emma Kawaiaea comes in as reliever in the 7th inning of the OIA White Division Softball Championship at the Central Oahu Regional

Star-Advertiser: Nanakuli’s Emma Kawaiaea comes in as reliever in the 7th inning of the OIA White Division Softball Championship at the Central Oahu Regional

Star-Advertiser: Nanakuli's Kelcie DeFreitas scores a run after the throw got past the Kaiser catcher in the 7th inning of the OIA White Division Softball Championship with Kaiser facing Nanakuli at the Central Oahu Regional Park.

Star-Advertiser: Nanakuli’s Kelcie DeFreitas scores a run after the throw got past the Kaiser catcher in the 7th inning of the OIA White Division Softball Championship with Kaiser facing Nanakuli at the Central Oahu Regional Park.

Star-Advertiser: Nanakuli's Chyanne Koko comes in to score a run in the 7th inning of the OIA White Division Softball Championship with Kaiser facing Nanakuli at the Central Oahu Regional Park.

Star-Advertiser: Nanakuli’s Chyanne Koko comes in to score a run in the 7th inning of the OIA White Division Softball Championship with Kaiser facing Nanakuli at the Central Oahu Regional Park.

Star-Advertiser, 4.21.13: The Golden Hawks repeated as OIA champs and will go into the state tournament with the OIA’s seeded berth. The Golden Hawks lost to Waimea in the championship game last year.

Nanakuli avenged a regular-season loss to Kaiser with an 8-5 win in the OIA White softball championship game at Central Oahu Regional Park on Saturday. Nanakuli (12-1) only scored once in that early loss, but had six batters drive in at least one run in the title game. Ashley Van Gieson and Keanani Chai each drove in two, and Precious Paulo-Myers, Alexis Paulo-Meyers, Emma Kawaiaea and Daria Kawaauahu each plated one.

“We changed our approach,” Nanakuli coach Ricky Gusman said. “We started to learn how to swing the bats smartly, we changed it to go gap to gap. As a season progresses, we learn. Coaches learn and players learn and we teach each other.”

The Golden Hawks could hit all season. The only time they scored fewer than five runs was in the earlier meeting with Kaiser, when they traveled to Hawaii Kai and were handcuffed by Crystal Ching-Lake. That turned out to be a mere blip for their season.

But Nanakuli’s offensive explosion almost wasn’t enough against undefeated Kaiser. The Cougars trailed 8-3 with three outs to go, but got their first four batters on, thanks to a leadoff double by Rainelle Matsuoka, two walks and an error in left field. That made it 8-4 with the sacks full and nobody out, so Gusman pulled starting pitcher Chyanne Koko. He brought in Kawaiaea, a sophomore, because she has a lot more movement on her pitches. Koko said she wasn’t tired, but may have gotten too comfortable with the lead. Koko improved to 8-1 this season, with her lone loss coming to Kaiser. Kawaiaea made her seventh appearance of the season in the circle, but none of them was more important than Saturday’s.

“All I wanted to do was not give up,” Kawaiaea said. “I didn’t want everybody to keep downing us. Coming from a small school, I feel really proud of what we accomplished.” Kawaiaea got the first out on a grounder back to the pitcher, then forced Kyra Hoohuli to ground to short. Alexis Paulo-Meyers picked it up clean and stepped on second for the force and had Hoohuli dead at first for the double play but short-hopped the throw. Van Gieson chased down the ball at first base and saw Kaiser’s Lesieli Aholelei trying to score from second. She rocketed a throw home that caught the runner for the third out after a violent collision.

“It means a lot, actually, for our community,” Koko said. “It is, like, only the second time in history and everybody is very proud of us.”

And how. Nanakuli fans filled the third-base line and lined the outfield and erupted when their girls finally got it done.

At Central Oahu Regional Park

Nanakuli 320 000 3 — 8 13 4
Kaiser 100 020 2 — 5 6 7
Chyanne Koko, Emma Kawaiaea (7) and Precious Paulo-Meyers. Crystal Ching-Lake, Seli Aholelei (2) and Kyra Hoohuli. W–Koko. L–Aholelei. Sv–Kawaiaea.

Leading hitters–Nan: Koko 3-4; Kawaiaea 1-2, 2b; Lauren Ku 2-5; Alexis Paulo-Meyers 1-5, 2b; Ashley Van Gieson 3-4. Kais: Rainelle Matsuoka 2-4, 2b, HR, RBI, 2 runs; Marissa Oda 1-2, HR, RBI, run.

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Also see “Nanakuli holds off Kaiser to win back-to-back White titles” (ScoringLive, 4.21.13): “Both teams will represent the OIA in the Hawaii High School Athletic Association/DataHouse Division II Softball State Championships along with Aiea and McKinley which takes place from April 30-May 3.”

See these 2012 articles: Congratulations to the Nanakuli Lady Hawks! and Nanakuli Lady Hawks – OIA softball champs!