Newport Knights senior Alexis Khauv (pictured) hustles toward first base after laying down a bunt against the Bonney Lake Panthers on March 14 in Factoria. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography

Newport Knights senior Alexis Khauv (pictured) hustles toward first base after laying down a bunt against the Bonney Lake Panthers on March 14 in Factoria. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography

Panthers defeat Knights in nonleague softball matchup

Bonney Lake earns road victory against Newport.

The Bonney Lake Panthers girls softball team displayed its talents in a nonleague matchup against the Newport Knights.

Bonney Lake cruised to a 10-0 win against Newport in just five innings on March 14 at Newport High School in Factoria. The Knights (1-1 overall) kept the game close in the first two innings of play before the Panthers took over.

The Knights, who won three games at the Class 4A state tournament during the 2018 season, had plenty of bright spots despite the lopsided loss to the Panthers. Knights’ junior Alexis Barashkoff went 2-for-2 at the plate and starting pitcher Hanako Hirai displayed her resiliency in the pitching circle.

“I thought we played well in the first and second inning. In the third inning, the top of their order got hot. They scored three runs,” Newport head coach Parris Mamon said. “Hanako (Hirai) is legit. She threw well today. I didn’t feel like we were getting the corners (called strikes from home-plate umpire). When we don’t get the corners, you kind of have got to put it down in the hitting zone.”

Bonney Lake pitcher Brooke Nelson, who has committed to the University of Washington softball program, surrendered just three hits and had 10 strikeouts in five innings of work.

“We put everybody in the game. It is nice to see a D-1 pitcher and have everybody get a little bit of experience,” Mamon said. “Brooke threw an awesome game. They hit the ball well and today they were better.”

Bonney Lake scored three runs in the top of the third inning, five runs in the top of the fourth and tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth. Bonney Lake slugger Anna Hook connected on a three-run homer in the top of the fourth.

“We feel really good about our lineup. You saw what Anna did today. She put one on Coal Creek Parkway (roadway in Bellevue just beyond the left field fence),” Bonney Lake head coach Andrew Sage said. “She has six at bats this year and she has three bombs (home runs) already.”

Sage said his team lost just two players from the 2018 varsity squad. That experience has boded well for the Panthers in early season action.

“This is a veteran squad. They’re not complacent, they’re hungry. Today was a big test. Newport is a very good team. Last year in the postseason seeing the kind of teams they put out of the state tournament, it was great for us to beat them. You could feel that playoff type of atmosphere early in this game. I think that was good for both programs for sure,” Sage said.

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