Kadena retains grasp on Okinawa softball
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa – Life in Kadena black and gold appears to be agreeing with Daegu transfer Rheagan Wyche.
The junior third baseman went 3-for-4 with two home runs and eight RBIs, including a fifth-inning grand slam Saturday as the Panthers beat Kubasaki 16-6 to complete a sweep of the Okinawa best-of-three softball finals. Kadena won Game 1 13-3 on Friday at Camp Foster.
“Rheagan’s a nice addition to play third and first,” coach Kelli Wilson said of Wyche, who helped the Warriors win their second Far East Division II tournament title in 2013. “She works hard. She comes out of Daegu and she knows what to do, so it’s nice to have her.”
Wyche’s mother, Joanna, transferred to Okinawa last summer and is a DODDS middle school teacher.
Wyche also played basketball for the Far East Division I runner-up Panthers as well as volleyball in the fall. She admits to missing Daegu some, but says she’s happy as a member of the Panthers.
The right hander set the tone for Friday’s opener when she lined a shot to right field over Kubasaki outfielder Chrisel Belin’s head, driving in two runs. Alicia Vaughan drove in two runs with a single and the Panthers took advantage of 11 walks and three wild pitches.
Macalah Danielsen got the win, scattering seven hits and three walks and striking out six, while also batting 3-for-4 with an RBI triple. Reaven East took the loss.
Danielsen continued her hot hitting in Game 2, going 4-for-4 out of the leadoff spot and driving in two runs while playing shortstop. “Macalah, this is her second year here, very versatile, we can use her at all different positions,” Wilson said.
Freshman right-hander Savannah Sparrow got with win, allowing three hits and five walks while striking out four, with two wild pitches and a hit batsman. Kadena took advantage of eight walks and four wild pitches. East once more took the loss.
It was the 12th time in 13 seasons since softball became a high-school sport on Okinawa that the Panthers have emerged victorious and the third straight.
In other diamond news, Greg Yi pitched no-hit ball for the second time this season as DODDS Korea champion Osan blanked Humphreys 16-0, then downed Daegu 9-5 to finish the regular season 11-1.
Rey Hernandez belted a three-run, sixth-inning home run to make a winner of Leo Austin as Yokota rallied to edge American School In Japan 4-3 to split a doubleheader. Tyler Sapsford got the complete-game win and drove in two runs as the Mustangs won the opener 3-0.
On the pitch, Junta Callahan netted six goals as Kadena’s boys took two from Misato Tech 4-0 and 5-1 on Okinawa. Imani and Iseiah Washington each scored twice as Kubasaki blankied Naha Kokusai 6-0 and won at Okinawa Christian International 4-1.
Shani Summers scored twice and Kadena put three on the board in the final period to snap a 1-1 tie and down Naha Shogyo 4-1 in a match played in three 35-minute periods. Alexis Townsend headed in the insurance marker and assisted on the first goal as Kubasaki blanked Maehara 2-0.
In Japan, Nile C. Kinnick girls closed their regular season 16-0-1 by shutting out Christian Academy Japan 9-0. Lexia Hall and Haley Mitchell each had three goals and Alyssa Leal had four assists. Kyle Reedy got his fifth goal of the season as the Knights boys blanked the Red Devils 3-0.