Lady Luna softball team wins MIL regular season championship
LAHAINA – It is no surprise that the Lady Luna softball team is once again riding high at the top of the Maui Interscholastic League standings. With a 10-2 record, Lahainaluna High School took care of the MIL regular season championship and went into last week’s playoffs as the top seed and assured of another trip to the state tournament slated for early May at Rainbow Wahine Stadium on the University of Hawaii campus in Honolulu.
And it is clear that Lady Luna head coach Lei Nakamura exemplifies the dedication to the sport that guarantees success at the highest levels. It is a year-round proposition for Coach Lei, her husband Flint and daughter Brenna, as the Nakamura ‘ohana leads the Lahainaluna program in the spring, and the Maui Pearls travel team and Maui Girls Softball Association in the summer and fall. Flint is the year-round field maintenance master.
Daughter Hayley, a senior at New Mexico State and a standout on the softball team, followed the all-star career of older sister Brenna with the Aggies softball team. Brenna graduated last year with a degree in business, and Hayley will graduate next fall with a degree in biology.
It is a commitment level that has been maintained throughout Nakamura’s ten-year tenure at Lahainaluna.
The MIL championships continue, the state playoff tickets get punched, a state-of-the-art softball facility is erected and the tradition continues.
“We enjoy what we’re doing here and the family atmosphere that has been established. We’ve found a purpose in life with softball and the important lessons in family values that come with it,” stated Coach Lei last week at the picturesque facility that overlooks Lahaina Town and the Roadstead across to Lanai.
According to Lei, the 2017 Lady Lunas feature the strength of a standout battery and solid defense. Senior returning all-star Taylor Asio has dominated in the circle with junior transfer Braylee Tovio Asato behind the plate.
Junior returnee Mia Gerbig plays first base, Kiani Motooka is at second base, sophomore returnee Kaaina Kalanikau starts at third base, sophomore returnee Nohili Hong plays shortstop, senior letter winner Giovanna Johnson is the left fielder, Lililoa Vehikite patrols center field, sophomore returnee Deisha Dagdag starts in right field, and junior returnee Sheila Tateyama Sadang is the designated player/hitter.
The remainder of the roster includes sophomores Seraya Casco, Tamia Duldulao Kahaialii and Ocean Makekau, and first-year players Silupevaelei Long and Lily Kaumanu.
“We try to work hard on our defense and hitting, but also on being good citizens and building camaraderie in the team. We also emphasize concentration on schoolwork. All of this cannot happen without the leadership of AD Scott Soldwisch and the support of Trainers Jon Conrad and Helen Hetzel. And most of all, we appreciate the support of the community, as it is always inspiring to hear the cheering during the games. We always have so much support from the Lahaina community. We are blessed,” concluded Coach Lei.