Youth softball: Gold Coast slugger continues hitting tear

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Gold Coast’s Shaylee Alani continues to put up video game-like numbers at the Little League Softball West Regional in Missoula, Mont.

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Gold Coast’s Shaylee Alani continues to put up video game-like numbers at the Little League Softball West Regional in Missoula, Mont.

Alani slugged her fifth home run of the tournament Monday as Gold Coast advanced out of pool play with a 10-3 victory against Pilot Rock, Ore.

“She’s seeing the ball really well,” coach Shane Alani said of his daughter.

In her last six games at the ages 13-16 tournament, Alani is batting .739 with 18 RBIs and 15 runs. The Alani family lives in Kailua-Kona, but Shaylee is a sophomore at Kamehameha-Kapalama on Oahu and played junior varsity last season.

After going 5-2 in pool play, third-seeded Gold Coast plays Northern California in the semifinals at 9:30 a.m. HST Tuesday. Gold Coast previously lost to N.California after losing a five-run lead. The winner gets either top-seeded Missoula or Oregon in Tuesday’s final. Missoula tagged Gold Coast with its other loss.

“If we keep hitting the way we’ve been hitting, we should be fine ,” Shane Alani said. “We just need to clean up our defense a little.”

Kamehameha-Hawaii’s Kiarra Lincoln and Taylor Sullivan also homered Monday, and Kealakehe’s Kiara Cantiberos struck out six in a complete game, winning for the third time in Montana.

Waiakea’s Taylor Nishimura was 3 for 4, and Gold Coast broke the game open in the fourth, highlighted by Alani’s two-run triple.

Konawaena’s Teizha Kahuna (.560. two home runs), Lincoln (.554) and Nishimura (.524) are all hitting higher than .500 in their last six games, but Alani has been in a league of her own. The shortstop’s slugging percentage is an absurd 1.696.

“She started playing when she was 10, and she started against the boys,” Shane Alani said. “You can definitely tell which softball players have played baseball.”

The 11-member team is well-represented from Kailua-Kona to Hilo. Kaila Tabiolo-Amaral and Kiera Javillonar attend Kohala and Sarah Sedillo plays for Honokaa. Breianna McLeod and Verly DeCasa are from Kealakehe.

Majors

Jayla Medeiros stroked a three-run triple, finishing with four RBIs, and Trinity Spencer worked four scoreless innings as Gold Coast thumped Utah 12-0 in San Bernardino, Calif., improving to 2-0 in the ages 9-12 tournament.

Spencer allowed three hits and struck out two with two walks and added an double that scored two runs.

Hillary Connors doubled and drove in three runs and coach Jerry Hiraishi liked the way his team looked after a two-day break. Backed by Shaylann Marie Grace’s no-hitter, it beat Idaho 10-2 on Friday.

“It was good that everybody was able to get their baseball legs back,” Hiraishi said

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Gold Coast plays Alaska on Tuesday and Montana on Wednesday to finish pool play. The championship is Friday.

“I’ve watched everyone and it looks pretty even,” Hiraishi said. “We just need to keep on winning.”

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