The Newport Knights girls softball team gave the Woodinville Falcons all it could handle in the early stages of a matchup between Class 4A KingCo squads.
Newport freshman Alexsi Barashkoff blasted a two-run home-run to left field in the bottom of the first inning, giving the Knights an early 2-0 lead. With Woodinville trailing 2-1 after three innings of play, the fourth inning played a pivotal factor in the outcome of the game. Woodinville scored four runs in the top of the fourth, taking a 5-2 lead. The Falcons tacked on five more runs in the top of the seventh en route to a 10-3 victory against the Knights on March 23 at Newport High School in Factoria. Woodinville catcher Lauryn Rhinehart uncorked a grand slam in the top of the seventh. Newport infielder Taylor Woodey connected on solo home-run in the bottom of the seventh scoring the Knights third and final run of the contest. Woodinville improved to 4-0 overall while Newport dropped to 3-2. Woodinville head coach Dani Weir said the Knights were not an easy opponent for her team.
“They did a good job of keeping us off balance and forced us to adjust. It was just a matter of changing our mentality at the plate. We had to make sure we were being aggressive and not waiting for a pitch to go by early on in the count and then having to hit with two strikes. We just had to make a little change in our approach,” Weir said.
Newport head coach Dale Yamamoto remained upbeat despite the defeat.
“Ava (Schamel) pitched really well at the beginning of the game and Taylor and Alexsi had home-runs,” Yamamoto said. “Our defense is much better this season and we’ve gotten some really good hitting out of Noelle Thomas. Hanako Hirai threw a no-hitter earlier this year. Our first goal is to make the playoffs.”
Weir was glad to see her team battle through the adversity of trailing early in the contest. Many of the Falcons senior players have already committed to play collegiate softball next season.
“We were down 2-0 there for awhile so it was good to see them step up. It certainly helps having that experience in pressure situations. I expect that of them (seniors) to get the team pumped up. It is nice to know that I don’t have to generate that motivation,” she said.