Newport Knights pitcher Hanako Hirai was in the zone against the Issaquah Eagles in matchup featuring 4A KingCo softball squads.
Hirai tossed a no-hitter, propelling the Knights to a 9-0 victory against the Eagles on April 24 in Factoria. Newport improved its overall record to 13-5 while Issaquah dropped to 3-14 overall. In the top of the seventh inning, Issaquah’s Clara Wolff connected with a blistering line drive to center field. Unfornuately for the Eagles, the ball went straight to Newport’s center fielder, which kept Hirai’s no-hitter intact.
Issaquah head coach Ron Hatlen said his youthful squad continues to give maximum effort.
“We are starting six freshmen. We are young and we are learning how to play a full seven innings right now. Hanako (Hirai) pitched well. We didn’t make adjustments. We knew what she was going to throw. We hit the ball well, but we hit it right at them. We had runners (Eagles drew four walks throughout the duration of the game). That is just what it has been the whole season for us,” Hatlen said.
Newport head coach Parris Mamon wasn’t surprised to see Hirai shut down the Eagles offense.
“Hanako is legit. She doesn’t get all the votes from all the other (opposing) coaches but she’s pretty darn special. I’m glad she is on my team instead of somebody else’s,” Mamon said with pride.
The Knights offense scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning and added another four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Brook Richards connected on a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth. Newport’s Katie Lee doubled to left field with the bases loaded in the bottom of the third, giving her team an early 3-0 lead. Thomas doubled later in the inning, extending the lead to 4-0.