IT’S NOT HOW YOU START BUT WHERE YOU FINISH…
LANA’I HIGH SOFTBALL CROWNED 2008 MIL CHAMPIONS…
PLACES 4th at STATE TOURNAMENT
By Roderick Sumagit
It has been a remarkable season, one that will never be forgotten. Through it all, the Pine lasses managed to keep their goal in sight: “MIL TITLE…. STATE TOURNAMENT”.
At the start of the season, expectations were very high. Having qualified for the state tournament last year and returning seven starters from last year’s team; it was our time for a championship run.
It didn’t look so promising after the first four games. The team was 0-4 and had been outscored 47-4, but this didn’t dampen their spirits. The Pine lasses believed they could compete with the rest of the league and worked extremely hard to improve their level of play. Through mud, rain, and sunburns, the team improved their level of play – winning 9 out of 12 games (5-1 against DII and 4-2 against DI teams). One of the victories came against the defending state champion Baldwin Bears 2-0. The Pinelasses’ work ethics and determination paid off. With an overall record of 9-7, the team captured the 2008 DII MIL Softball title and an automatic bid to the state tournament.
It was again an honor to represent not only the school but also the entire island at a state tournament. This was the third state tournament appearance for Lana’i Softball but it was the first as a seeded team. Being seeded #4 in the tournament gave the team a bye in the opening round. In the quarterfinals, the Pinelasses faced the OIA second place team -Kaiser Cougars. Key hitting and spectacular defensive plays gave the Pine lasses a 3-2 victory. Even more heartwarming at the end of the game, were the Pinelasses and alumni singing the alma mater.
Reaching the semifinals gave the team an opportunity to play in a world-class college facility – the University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium. The opponent was the #1 seeded Kaua’i Red Raiders. The game was a pitching duel with both pitchers striking out 10 batters. Both teams played their hearts out. Kaua’i prevailed 6-2.
The third place game was against Kapa’a, another Kaua’i team. It was a seesaw battle between both teams. The Pine lasses had the lead going into the bottom of the six; however, Kapa’a scored two unearned runs to win the game which was shortened due to a time limit.
Throughout the season the entire team held their heads high. They were humble in victory and gracious in defeat. Quitting was never an option. The team got to showcase what “Lana’i Pride” is all about. They had been crowned MIL SOFTBALL CHAMPIONS and placed 4th at the state tournament.
They couldn’t have made it that far without the support of the Lana’i fans. Whenever they played – at home or on the road, the tremendous support from family members, friends, and alumni gave them a home field feeling and inspired them to play to their fullest potential. Thanks to you all for an unforgettable season.