Lahaina Girls play short season
LAHAINA — It was an inspiring scene to behold last weekend as Ainakea Park once again bustled with activity, with cars lining the field’s bordering fence and families making up picnic camps beyond the outfield. It was a return to the fun-filled action as the Lahaina Girls 13 and under softball program played on in spite of the difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continuing the pathway set by the sterling line of coaches and mentors that have guided the program throughout recent decades — including Alvin Agawa, Earle Kukahiko, Glen Gazmen, Lei Nakamura and so many others — Lahaina Girls softball was able to move through the health and safety protocols to play a limited six-game season after the Maui Girls Softball Association (MGSA) postponed 2020 play on March 19.
Led by Head Coach Danton Hong and assistants Nohili Hong and Seraya Casco, the Lahaina Girls collaborated with the Central Hawks to work through Maui County Department of Parks and Recreation and MGSA protocols to play a six-game schedule to cap off the summer.
The two programs played a home- and-home series of six games at Ainakea and the Central softball facility from the end of July to the final game last week. The Hawks came out on top, winning four of the six contests.
The Lahaina Girls 2020 roster was made up of Lauren Rodriguez, Polly Mele Kiola, Kaylee Neizman, Zabrea Neizman, Andrealyn Fabia, Ku Kapu Kekona, Valeria Gonzalez Cruz, Mayson Miles, Zhi Clark, Ilikea Ladera Bacalso and Sabrina Calma.
“We’ve had a good season in the face of all these setbacks,” said Coach Danton from the dugout at Ainakea before that last game.
“We had a strong core commitment from the girls to play collectively as a team. And, as always, the Lahaina community stepped up to support the team through these tough times.
“Especially people like the Brian Mahuna ohana that always come through as the top sponsor/supporter of the team. And, most of all, my wife Ilima Greig Hong, who always takes care of all of the behind the scenes paperwork and the organizational stuff that is so important to the program. Thank you to you all!”