KAHULUI — Kohala came close, but just didn’t pack enough offense to hang with the defending champs on Saturday night.
Despite an impressive performance in the circle and solo homer from Mikayla Kekoa, the Cowgirls fell to the Saints 4-1 on Saturday night in the HHSAA Division II state championship.
Kekoa’s home run tied the game in the fourth inning at 1-1, but Saint Francis put the game away when Jordyn Lono launched a two-run blast in the sixth, breaking open what was a pitcher’s duel for most of the night.
Danyka Cazimero-Robu and Piliai Kaai had the only two other hits for Kohala, as Saint Francis starter Sierrah Kupihea kept the Cowgirls off-balance all night. Kupihea struck out 14 and walked just a single batter in seven innings of work.
Kekoa wasn’t too bad herself, allowing just four hits, striking out three and issuing only two walks.
Shaylann Marie Grace, a former Konawaena standout that transferred to Saint Francis this season, notched a double and scored a run for the Saints.
Kekoa and teammates Laila Caravalho and Kayla Joy Juan Kealahoa were named to the D-II All-Tournament team, as were Kamehameha-Hawaii players Brooke Baptiste, Kawai Kauahi-Raquel and Kaula Martin. Kamehameha lost to Saint Francis on Friday night in the semifinals.
The appearance was the first for Kohala in a state championship game.
The BIIF has not won a softball state championship since Hilo did it in 1978.