Baldwin settles for new softball stadium
By Fred Guzman
On the day that three members of Baldwin’s softball program and their parents won a battle for improved facilities, the Bears suffered their first loss of the MIL season.
The governor’s office released more than $1 million to build a new softball field on the Baldwin campus as part of an out-of-court settlement reached in a gender equity lawsuit.
The agreement ends a lawsuit filed by team members who alleged they were forced to practice and play at a sub-standard field while the baseball team played at Iron Maehara Stadium.
The lawsuit accused the state and Maui County of violating the girls’ rights under the Patsy Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, also known as Title IX. The settlement also calls for the state to pay the plaintiffs’ lawyers $75,000 in attorneys fees.
State Deputy Attorney General John Cregor said that the new stadium at Baldwin should be completed in time for the 2012 season. League games next year will be played at Maui High’s Patsy Mink stadium.
Later in the day, Lahinaluna freshman Hope Morikawa limited Baldwin to four hits, with the Bears capitalizing on three Lunas’ error in the bottom of the seventh to avoid the shutout.
The Lahainaluna win prevented Baldwin from clinching the D-I regular season title and a berth in the state tournament. Baldwin dropped to 8-1 in the MIL, while the second-place Lunas improved to 5-3.
Meantime, Kamehameha junior Ginger Long has verbally committed to play volleyball at the University of Hawaii. Molokai High standout Kalei Adolpho made a similar commitment to UH last year.
BASEBALL ROUNDUP: For the second time in as many days, Kurt Suzuki came up big for the Oakland Athletics.
On Tuesday, the catcher from Maui slugged a solo homer in the fourth inning and then delivered a key 10th-inning hit at the expense of another Valley Island big-leaguer, reliever Kanekoa Texeira, to help the A’s post a 2-1 win over Seattle.
On Wednesday, Suzuki was at it again. His RBI double in the bottom of the ninth lifted Oakland to a 6-5 win.
It was Suzuki’s second run-scoring double of the game and upped his average to .364 three games into the young baseball season. It was also the seventh game-winning hit in Suzuki’s big-league career.
The two teams conclude their season-opening, four-game series today in Oakland, which is off to a 2-1 start.
Texeira, meantime, did not play the day after being pinned with a loss in his major-league debut.
The right-hander came out of the bullpen in the ninth inning of that game and worked himself out of a bases-loaded jam. He wasn’t as fortunate in the decisive 10th after giving up a two-out, game-winning hit to Mark Ellis.
Shane Victorino had a hit in three at-bats and walked once for Philadelphia in an 8-4 victory over Washington. The Phils hold a 2-1 in the series that concludes today in the nation’s capital.