Sherri Steinhauer (70) matched Pressel at 7-under 135 after the morning session.
Paula Creamer, who shared the first-round lead with Steinhauer and Paige Mackenzie, also was 7 under through the front nine.
It was mostly overcast and breezy at Turtle Bay Resort's oceanside Palmer Course, keeping players from being too aggressive and making them guess what clubs to hit. Conditions are expected to be even windier Saturday.
Pat Hurst (68) was two strokes off the pace at 5 under, and Karrie Webb shot her second 70 and was 4 under with LPGA player of the year Lorena Ochoa (69).
"I feel really good and I'm happy with my score today," said Ochoa, who won six events last year. "I think I'm in a good position for (Saturday)."
Pressel, the 2005 U.S. Women's Open runner-up, used a strong putting performance and made her move in the middle holes, birdieing Nos. 9 and 10 and tapping in for birdie on 12 to tie Steinhauer, her 2002 junior Solheim Cup captain, at 6 under.
Steinhauer, who qualified for the tour in 1985, three years before Pressel was born, birdied Nos. 13 and 14 to regain the outright lead. But she bogeyed the 15th and Pressel birdied the next hole to get to 7 under.
The 18-year-old Pressel, who tied for fifth at last year's SBS, dropped to her knees in disbelief after her chip shot for birdie on 18th just missed the cup.
Steinhauer, who last year won her second career major and seventh LPGA Tour title at the Women's British Open, had an up-and-down round with six birdies and four bogeys.
Jimin Kang (70) was at 3 under along with Natalie Gulbis (73), who is seeking her first win in 136 starts.
Ai Miyazato was forced to take the weekend off, along with the entourage of Japanese media following her, after shooting a 76. She was at 7 over, along with 16-year-old amateur Taylore Karle (75) and 2005 SBS champion SBS Jennifer Rosales (75).
Big Island native Kimberly Kim, who last year became the youngest champion of the U.S. Women's Amateur at age 14, also missed the cut after three bogeys and a three double bogeys in her round of 79.
The winner Saturday will take home $165,000 of the $1.1 million purse. The tournament is ending Saturday to accommodate television audiences in South Korea, where it will be Sunday and aired live by sponsor Seoul Broadcasting System.