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Kalani softball comes through with bye

Apr. 13—Naomi Stremick socked a two-run single during a seven-run seventh-inning rally and pitched the final 22 /3 innings as No. 8 Kalani escaped with a 10-6 win over Moanalua on Friday.

Naomi Stremick socked a two-run single during a seven-run seventh-inning rally and pitched the final 22 /3 innings as No. 8 Kalani escaped with a 10-6 win over Moanalua on Friday.

The regular-season-closing win sealed a first-round bye in the upcoming OIA Division I softball playoffs for the Lady Falcons (10-2 ).

"We prepared for this the whole time. I knew there was going to be pressure from the beginning. I knew going to come (to pitch ), " said Stremick, who started in center field, then permitted just one run on two hits to collect the win.

The Lady Falcons came into the week one game ahead of Moanalua and Kaiser, but lost to Kaiser 8-4 on Thursday to create a logjam with one regular-season game remaining.

"We had a little taste of defeat yesterday in the Kaiser game. We lost, but I think it prepared us well for this game. We know how to fight and get back, " Stremick said. "We've done it before. Luckily, it went our way. I'm really proud of my team for handling that way and never giving up."

Six of the seven runs during the seventh-inning rally came with two outs.

"I'm confident that we're best with two outs. It shows the strength and the will of the team, " Falcons coach Iris Stremick said. "They keep pushing forward and are determined to get the win for each other."

Kaiser's game at Castle was rained out, leaving the fate of second place in the East up in the air. If Kaiser loses and ties with Moanalua, one of the tiebreakers may come down to Kaiser's 1-1 record against Kalani. Moanalua lost both matchups with Kalani.

Moanalua (9-3 ) was within one out of sealing one of the top two spots in the OIA East. Kalani trailed 5-3 entering the top of the seventh inning. Ashlyn Sera lined a shot down the left-field line, the ball accelerated down the slope into the corner for an inside-the-park home run. That brought the Falcons within one run.

"We knew that once the ball gets past the infield, it's just going to keep going, " she said, referring to the 320-foot distance from home plate to the corner.

Kayla Mashino, who switched from second base to the pitcher's circle in the seventh frame, then retired Leona Stremick and Jayslin Simpliciano. From there, the next seven Falcons reached base.

Haley Ching walked on four pitches, Raine Chinen reached on an infield single and Rylie Kodama walked to load the bases.

Mashino then walked Kylie Tanimura on five pitches, forcing Ching in to tie the game at 5.

With the outfield playing deep, Naomi Stremick then blooped an opposite-field single to left, scoring Chinen and Kodama for a 7-5 Kalani lead. Layna Faria followed with a single to left, scoring Tanimura from third base.

Sera, who led the inning off with a homer, then sent a base hit to left to score Stremick, and when outfielder Ava Atagi slipped, Faria raced home with Kalani's 10th run of the game.

Starting pitcher Eva Kameoka returned to the circle and struck out Leona Stremick to end the inning.

Moanalua began the bottom of the seventh inning with a single by Malia Taga. With one out, Atagi tripled to right, scoring Taga. However, Naomi Stremick bore down and struck out Ramzy Bumagat, then got Kiana Pasion to fly out, ending the battle.

"I feel great. I think I had anxiety for the whole week, " coach Stremick said.

The Lady Falcons are largely low key, a mature group despite having just four seniors.

"Today, I didn't know what we were going to face, but they came out. Yesterday was yesterday. They moved forward and were ready to compete, " coach Stremick said. "It was everybody on the team. I love the fact that it's led by the girls themselves. They meet together. They encourage each other and motivate each other. It's been great to see that development. They're growing to be wonderful young ladies pulling for each other."