Playing hard to catch: Raiders Softball players from Hawaii

Hannah Pederson, Reporter

Kailey Nobriga

IMG_0051Pukalani, Maui is a small, rural town 31 miles from the tourist hub Lahaina and the childhood home of Pierce College Raiders softball player Kailey Nobriga.

When she was five (maybe 6), she joined her first tee-ball team after watching her cousins play.

When she grew out of her tee-ball uniform she moved onto softball, the sport that quickly became her passion.

“Softball isn’t as popular in Hawaii as it is here I think,” Nobriga said. “Not a lot of people there coach or watch.”

Despite not being the most sought-after sport with everyone in her town, softball was still a big deal to Nobriga and her family.

When it came time for her cousin Kierson Perry to start looking for schools, Raiders Softball Coach Mark Edmonston took interest right away.

Perry ended up being the first Hawaiian female to play for Pierce, paving the way for Nobriga, who followed her to Washington a few years later.

Kailie Alama

When Kailie Alama was in elementary school, fate decided to throw her for a loop.IMG_0046

She started off her athletic career playing basketball, before her best friend at the time opened her eyes to the marvels of softball.

She started playing with her friend’s hometown team when she was nine years old and hasn’t stopped since.

In high school, she played for Aiea High where she often faced off with her current roommate, Halsey. Much like Halsey, Alama found that the prospect of going to school in Washington was too good to turn down.

“For some reason, I’ve always wanted to go to a school in Washington,” Alama said. “If there was a chance to play softball there out of the heat, then there was no question. I’d wanted to kind of get away from home and see how it went, so as soon as I got an offer from Pierce I wanted to go but it wasn’t an easy transition.”

It was hard for Alama to leave her family behind in Hawaii, but it was important to her that she pave the way for her younger siblings and she’s not all alone in Washington.

“If it wasn’t for softball or my team, I don’t think I’d honestly be here,” Alama said. “They’re like my family up here.”

Sierra Halsey

IMG_0504Eighteen-year-old Sierra Halsey has spent more than half her life dedicating most of her free time to softball.

It all started when she was five, when she joined Manoa Sports Club in Honolulu, Hawaii, which exposed her to pretty much every sport there is.

“(For) every other sport I played, I didn’t like as much as softball,” Halsey said. “I’ve really liked it ever since I started playing it.”

Over the next few years Halsey moved around, living in Kalihi, Milani and finally ending up attending Radford High School where she played softball.

In high school she competed against teams like Aiea and Roosevelt High and players like Kailie Alama, who’s now a teammate at Pierce.

“We were big rivals in high school, and now in Washington we’re roommates,” Halsey said. “At first it was weird. We were always competitive and I’d tease her, like, ‘How’s it feel to not win state?’ It was all fun and games and now we’re really good friends.”

Halsey’s mom attended Pierce for a couple quarters right after high school, which isn’t that uncommon, Halsey said.

“Washington and Oregon are the two most popular states for Hawaiians going to college, even though we still pay out of state tuition,” Halsey said.

It didn’t take Halsey long to decide where she wanted to go after high school either.

“I guess everyone knows how good Pierce is and you’re like, ‘Hey I wanna go there, it seems popular’,” Halsey said. “They have a good education system and sports system and I have family in Washington.”

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost

Hannah Pederson

Playing hard to catch: Raiders Softball players from Hawaii

by Hannah Pederson time to read: 3 min