In a loser-out thriller, Redmond beat Newport, 21-13, in the 4A Wes-King District softball tournament on May 15 in Everett.
Newport tied the game 13-13 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Alexandra Richards hammered a double and proudly stood on second with a smile as her teammates on the bench cheered her on.
In the back-and-forth game at Phil Johnson Fields, Redmond scored eight runs in the top of the seventh to secure the win.
Redmond led 8-7 after three innings, Newport held a 12-9 advantage after five innings and Redmond went up 13-12 in the top of the sixth.
Offensive fireworks included six home runs — three for each squad — and 30 total hits. For Newport, Brooklyn Richards hammered two dingers and added a single, Ariana Arnone nailed a homer to go with her three hits and five RBIs, Alexsi Barashkoff unloaded four hits and Nora Collins knocked two hits.
Newport, which finished 14-10 overall, lost to Jackson, 9-6, earlier in the tournament. The Knights, the second-place KingCo tournament finisher, handed Redmond its first loss, 20-4, earlier this month.
“It’s a tough game because somebody has to lose. You figure you put up 13 runs, you think you got a good shot at winning, but they’re a great team, too. They were ranked this year, we beat ‘em last time. Hats off to both teams, they both played great games. Both teams made some mistakes, both teams made some great plays,” said Newport head coach Parris Mamon, a former Redmond skipper who remains close with Mustang head coach Alison Mitchell (his former assistant at Redmond).
Barashkoff said that when Newport and Redmond clash, there’s always a championship atmosphere in the air.
“It always comes down to like, we both want it so bad. The cards didn’t fall in our favor this time, but, you know, what can you do? There’s a lot going on all the time, so you just gotta focus in, do what you can and just have fun,” she said.
The junior shortstop is proud of her team and the senior class, and she said that it’s hard to see them play their final game for Newport.
Barashkoff said it’s “crazy” that softball players get to unleash their competitive fire on the field while having a great time with each other.
“Playing with the people you love. Every time I step in the box, I know, ‘OK, my team is cheering behind me, I gotta do this for them.’ Every time I’m at shortstop, every play I make is for my team, it’s not for myself,” she said.
Mamon characterizes his team as “one big happy family.” The girls get along with each other and go out to eat together.
“It was just a fun season. But it’s tough to end this way ‘cause no one wants to lose, they all wanna be the last one standing,” Mamon said.