By Fred Guzman
The brightest star during the Rainbow Wahine’s dramatic run to the Women’s College World Series is facing the biggest challenge of her young life. Kelly Majam, the little centerfielder with the huge bat is battling throat cancer.
Fortunately, her condition – formally known as papillary thyroid carcinoma – is highly treatable and was caught at earliest stages, according to a story that appears in today’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Majam had surgery to remove the 1.6 centimeter lump on July 27 and is on track for a return to the Wahine lineup this spring following a spectacular freshman season during which she batted .400 and slugged a remarkable 30 home runs.
Majan will undergo radiation treatment in December to eliminate any remnants of the cancer. She will also be on a lifelong regimen of thyroid hormone replacement medication to compensate for the gland’s removal.
PHILLIES WIN: Placido Polanco had four hits and Shane Victorino contributed a two-run double in support of Roy Oswalt last night as the Phillies beat San Francisco 9-3 to take a one-game lead over the Giants in the National League wild card race.
The win also kept the two-time defending NL champs within 2.5 games of division-leading Atlanta. Despite battling injuries to key players all season long, the Phillies have stayed in contention by winning 16 of their last 18 games.
The Giants, meantime, lost for the eighth time this month after losing that many during all of July to fall five games behind San Diego in the West despite home runs from Pat Burrell and the recently-acquired Jose Guillen.
Victorino finished with two hits, scored a run and stole his 23rd base of the season.
NA KOA: Na Koa Ikaika completed a sweep of an eight-game series with the Yuma Scorpions by posting a 4-1 victory last night at Iron Maehara Stadium, with Donald Brandt improving his pitching record to 11-0 while allowing no runs, two hits, walking two and striking out seven over six innings.
Before the game, the players held a team meeting do discuss whether to sit out because their paychecks were postdated to Thursday. The players relented, according to the Maui News, after receiving assurances from team owner Michael Cummings that they their checks will clear on Thursday or he would wire cash to the team on the mainland.
Na Koa are on the road for 12 days, playing 11 games against Chico, Orange County and Yuma. Na Koa won the first-half title and currently are first in the Golden Baseball League South with a second-half mark of 17-4 for league-best overall record of 42-21.