(Patsy Mink Regional Park, Waipio) By finishing the Kauai regular season with an impressive 21-3 record, the Ohana Motors Rebels represented the Garden Island – for the third straight year – in the “B” Division at the 42nd Annual Hawaii Senior State Softball Tournament at the Patsy Mink Regional Park.
Over three wind-blown and very dusty days, the Rebels faced the second place teams from each island including the 2016 Defending State Champion Honomu Rockets and the perennial Division “A” tough guys Bad Company. Coach Gary Yates delivered an injury report to the Tournament Office acknowledging pulled muscles, busted ribs, sore shoulders, severely damaged legs, yanked hamstrings and some really painful aches. After realizing that they were reading a team injury report and not a hospital emergency room sign-in sheet, the Tournament officials allowed the banged-up team to participate as long as the Rebels could wheel out ten players for each game.
Although the Rebels went into the post season hobbled by numerous injuries and ailments, the team put on an impressive hitting display, batting .683 as a team (compared to .551 in the regular season). Over only five games, the prodigious bats cranked out an impressive 123 hits with 12 home runs, 9 triples and 16 doubles.
With the aroma of WinterCrest wafting in the Oahu gales, the oft-injured Rebels fought through the first two days of round-robin games winning two and dropping two. The division was loaded this year, as illustrated by the fact that those Rebels faced two teams that posted the best regular season records on the Big Island as well as last year’s division champion.
The Rebels opened the first day by getting edged by the Big Island’s Pueo team by a score of 18-17. The team bounced back by destroying the Onomea Rangers 31-10 – one of the most lopsided scores of the entire tournament.
On the second day, the Ohana Motors squad lost to perennial Oahu powerhouse Bad Company by a score of 20-15 (the team that was ultimately crowned the division’s 2017 champion). Once again, the Rebels rebounded by rallying past the Big Island’s Ku’ihaki by a count of 17-16.
The round-robin results gave the Rebels a third-place seeding going into the single-elimination phase of the tournament. Alas, the Rebels lost a hard-fought game to the Defending Champion Rockets in the first round, ending the team’s hopes of securing their second State Title.