Maui Sports

Nanakuli Wins State Div. II Girls Softball Championsip

May 4, 2013, 9:02 AM HST
* Updated May 4, 9:04 AM
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Nanakuli's Ashley Van Gieson (right) and Brayann Meyers hold the girls Division II state softball championship trophy following their 5-4 win over Saint Francis on Friday at the Patsy Mink Field. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Nanakuli’s Ashley Van Gieson (right) and Brayann Meyers hold the girls Division II state softball championship trophy following their 5-4 win over Saint Francis on Friday at the Patsy Mink Field. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

By Rodney S. Yap

There were plenty of Golden moments for the Hawks of Nanakuli against Saint Francis in Friday’s Division II DataHouse State Softball Championships.

The most memorable, however, will be Ashley Van Gieson’s two-run single to left field in the top of the seventh inning and Chyanne Koko’s stellar pitching performance that sealed Nanakuli’s 5-4 victory over the Saints at Patsy Mink Field.

“Right now it feels surreal. I was worried,” said Nanakuli head coach Ricky Gusman. “Of course Saint Francis is a powerhouse coming from the ILH. The OIA has never taken (Division II) states, I checked back and Waimea was the last team to break the string of ILH champions.

Nanakuli pitcher Chyanne Koko delivers a pitch in the second inning against Saint Francis in the state Division II girls softball championships at Patsy Mink Field. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Nanakuli pitcher Chyanne Koko delivers a pitch in the second inning against Saint Francis in the state Division II girls softball championships at Patsy Mink Field. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

“So tonight we spoke it, we heard ourselves say it. We started to believe it and now we got it,” an emotional Gusman said. “I’m really overwhelmed right now, I’m so proud of the kids.”

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Van Gieson’s clutch single to left scored Emma Kawaiaea and Precious Paulo-Meyers with the go-ahead runs in the top of the seventh inning with the scored tied 3-3.

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“It felt really good because I did it for my team, not just me, but for my teammates and all of Nanakuli,” Van Gieson said. “I’m an aggressive hitter, so I always take the first pitch if it looks good.”

“Ashley Van Gieson has been doing that all year for us. She’s a very uncanny player, she’s just a freshman. We have a great group of underclassmen and she’s one of them that comes everyday and works hard. She’s been consistent in big games for us,” Gusman said.

Winning pitcher Koko scattered eight hits and struck out nine, her final victim went down swinging with two runners on base. Koko’s strikeout to end the game ignited a celebration in front the pitcher’s mound as teammates and coaches swarmed the infield.

Nanakuli pitcher Chyanne Koko hits as RBI single to right field in the first inning against Saint Francis Friday at the state Division II girls softball tournament at Patsy Mink Field. Koko's hit helped the Golden Eagles grab a 1-0 lead. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Nanakuli pitcher Chyanne Koko hits as RBI single to right field in the first inning against Saint Francis Friday at the state Division II girls softball tournament at Patsy Mink Field. Koko’s hit helped the Golden Eagles grab a 1-0 lead. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

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“Last night (against Kauai) I said she did OK, tonight she did a super job. Even when she was behind the ball and there were pressure situations she came through with big strikeouts, especially the last two outs,” Gusman said.

Koko, who was a perfect 3-0 in the tournament, was chosen the Most Valuable Player.

Gusman said all of Nanakuli can share in the team’s success.

Saint Francis first baseman Rasela Vili makes a play on a ground ball hit by Brayann Meyers in the second inning of the girls Division II state softball championships at Patsy Mink Field. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Saint Francis first baseman Rasela Vili makes a play on a ground ball hit by Brayann Meyers in the second inning of the girls Division II state softball championships at Patsy Mink Field. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

“For this program and for all athletics at Nanakuli, I’m sure this brings pride back to Nanakuli. And hopefully this will be one of many championships, not just in softball but in all sports.”

DataHouse/HHSAA Division II All-Tournament Team

Gaylan Matagiese, C, Waimea

Kyana Hirokane, 1B, Kauai

Alexis Paulo-Meyers, SS, Nanakuli

Ashley Van Gieson, 1B, Nanakuli

Sienna Santiago SS, Waimea

Saint Francis pitcher Shaye Simms delivers a pitch against Nanakuli in the first inning of the girls Division II state softball championships at Patsy Mink Field. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Saint Francis pitcher Shaye Simms delivers a pitch against Nanakuli in the first inning of the girls Division II state softball championships at Patsy Mink Field. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Rachel Carlos, OF, Saint Francis

Emma Kawaiaea, OF, Nanakuli

Codi Kualii, OF, Kamehameha-Hawaii

Raisa Strom-Okimoto, P, Aiea

Shaye Simms P, Saint Francis

Kelsie Hee, U, Saint Francis

Most Outstanding Player: Chyanne Koko, P, Nanakuli

Championship Game

At Patsy Mink Field

Nanakuli 100 110 2 5 11 5
St. Francis 011 010 1 4 8 2

Chyanne Koko and Precious Paulo-Meyers. Shaye Simms and Kelsie Hee.
W—Koko. L—Simms.
Leading hitters—Nan: Emma Kawaiaea 3-4, run; Koko 2-4, 2b, RBI; Ashley Van Gieson 2-4, 2 RBIs; Kelcie DeFreitas 2-4, RBI, run. StF: Hee 2-4, HR, RBI, 2 runs; Ashley Kahapea-Wagner 2-4, RBI, run; Kenedee Passos 2-4, RBI.

Nanakuli's Keanani Chai (5) puts down a sacrifice bunt in the second inning. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Nanakuli’s Keanani Chai (5) puts down a sacrifice bunt in the second inning. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Third-place game: Waimea 11, Kauai 3

At Patsy Mink Field 

Waimea 113 303 11 11 1
Kauai 102 000 3 7 1

Deannalynn Tafiti and Gaylan Matagiese. Kailee Nii, Courtney Laamea (4) and Tammie Yoshimori. W—Tafiti. L—Nii.
Leading hitters—Waim: Sienna Santiago 2-3, RBI, 2 runs; Matagiese 3-3, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs, 2 runs; Jaelyn Rivera-Jacinto, HR, 3-4, RBI, run. Kau: Kiana Pagador 1-3, 3b, run; Karlyee Malapit 2-3, RBI.

Saint Francis players wait while umpires discuss a ruling Friday at the girls Division II state softball tournament. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Saint Francis players wait while umpires discuss a ruling Friday at the girls Division II state softball tournament. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Fifth-place game: Aiea 6, Kamehameha-Hawaii 3

At Patsy Mink Field

KS-Hawaii 000 102 3 4 1
Aiea 100 05X 6 6 5

Mykala Tokunaga and Kekailani Wong Yuen. Raisa Strom-Okimoto and Kendra Chong.
W—Strom-Okimoto. L—Tokunaga.
Leading hitters—KSH: Elizabeth Kia 2-3, 2 RBIs; Jaylen Shiroma 1-3, 2b, run. Aiea: Strom-Okimoto 2-3, 3b, run; Vanessa Lopez-Aho 1-3, 2b, 2 RBIs.

Saint Francis Rachel Carlos gets on base via a fielding error at shortstop following this hit in the first inning Friday. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Saint Francis Rachel Carlos gets on base via a fielding error at shortstop following this hit in the first inning Friday. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Consolation game: Kaiser 10, McKinley 5

At Patsy Mink Field

Kaiser 018 010 10 8 4
McKinley 000 302 5 5 6

Lesieli Aholelei, Marissa Oda (4) and Kyra Hoohuli-Enanoria, Tiana Ching-Lake (4). Jillian Cristobal, Kimberly Amor (5) and Jaclyn Galinato.
W—Aholelei. L—Cristobal.
Leading hitters—Kais: Aholelei 1-3, 2b, RBI, run.

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