Some of my best and longest-lasting friendships came from my years of playing ball. To be part of a competitive team that is something bigger than yourself is an unforgettable experience.”

The crack of the bat and the popping of leather gloves can be heard echoing through the scenic Waimea landscape as the HPA softball team goes to work on the diamond.

Baseball might be known as “America’s Pastime,” but softball has quite a following of its own—especially on the Big Island, where the game is played by keiki and kupuna alike. The softball program at HPA was established in 2005, and the team has its own softball diamond on campus, where Ka Makani play and practice.

During the season, the team travels around the island to take on teams from Pahoa to Kohala, creating an unparalleled environment for team-bonding. While some players are veterans with years of experience in the batter’s box, there are many with little or no competitive softball background who choose to take up the sport. HPA competes in the Division II level of the BIIF and is still seeking its historic first league title.