The hits just kept coming.
For five innings, Wapahani’s softball team seemed to be in command, making the most of its only shot at rival Yorktown this season after getting upset in the county tournament and missing the Class 3A No. 8 Tigers. But Yorktown also possesses one of the most dangerous lineups in the area, and things came to a head in the bottom of the sixth.
The Tigers teed off with four consecutive hits to open the inning and plated nine runs on the way to an 11-4 home victory against the Class 2A No. 4 Raiders. Things got so bad, Wapahani pitching ace Hannah Rose was driven from the circle, but returned six batters later before the inning was over.
“Sometimes it takes us a while to get our bats started,” said Yorktown pitcher Grace Lumpkin, who had two hits in the sixth. “But once we do, it just blows up. I had confidence my team would back me up.”
All game, Yorktown (22-4) had been making solid contact, but many balls were launched right into the gloves of waiting fielders. Once the Tigers started hitting gaps, they looked every bit like the team that slugged its way to the Class 3A state title game last season.
Rose (10-3) was pulled after her rough start to the sixth, but Angelica McKibben came and went without recording an out.
“You’ve got to throw something in there to change things up a little bit,” Wapahani coach Jacci Glancy said. “They actually had a couple good hits almost every inning, they just didn’t score.
“McKibben is way different than Rose. You just try and throw them something.”
Lumpkin (11-3) was put in a different role, as Lauren Grant started off the game for senior night, and Lumpkin slid in after the third inning to close it out. It’s something the Tiger staff has done at times this season.
After giving up two runs her first inning, she retired the final nine batters she faced, and she said she’s comfortable coming in later on if that’s what’s required.
“There’s an expectation,” Yorktown coach Chrissie Saunders said. “She should be able to, as a player, accept that role in a willing way like that.
“She’s doing that job.”
The onslaught overshadowed a prolific Raiders (21-4) start that saw the visitors launch four extra-base hits, including solo home runs from Samantha Feistritzer and Katelyn Buchanan, on the way to a 4-0 lead.
With sectionals set to start next week, the Tigers are on a roll with 17 consecutive wins. A year ago, the offense paved the way to the state finals, and after battering an All-State hurler, they appear to be in similar form.
“It just helps when somebody gets on, and then another person gets on, and it just keeps going on like that,” said Yorktown shortstop Katy Johnson, whose bases-loaded double gave Yorktown its lead. “We just want to score runs and keep it going.”