Laura Hirai

From BR Bullpen

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 1"

Biographical Information[edit]

Laura Hirai has made many firsts in British baseball as well as one for the New York Yankees.

Born in the UK, she moved to Japan at age 5 then moved to London when she was 11. [1] She made Britain's team for the 2015 European Junior Championship, the first girl to play for Britain at that level; Amy Trask had played at the youth level. [2] She started their opener, losing to Philipp Meyer and Germany. She allowed 7 runs (4 earned) in 5 2/3 IP, much better than her successor, Matteo Sollecito. Against Sweden, she relieved Elijah Hackney in the opener in a clutch situation, tied at 3-3 , and took the loss against Simon Andersson after allowing two runs in an inning. Her 8.10 ERA was not the team's worst, better than Conner Brown, Sollecito and Elliot Berger, all future British national team members at senior-level competition. She tied for the most losses in the event with Max Hill, Evgeny Libin, Kryštof Trávník and Oskar Syrén. [3]

When the New York Yankees played the first MLB game in England, she was the ball girl for the New York Yankees, the first ball girl in team history. She met stars like CC Sabathia, Aaron Judge, Reggie Jackson, Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher, Andy Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez and also met with Prince Harry and his wife Meghan. [4] When the British women's national team was formed for the 2022 European Women's Championship, she played a key role for the squad. She was the first batter in team history. She drew their first walk, from Karolína Blažková, then stole their first base and scored their first run when Claury Scatliffe drew a bases-loaded walk later in the inning. Her first at-bat, she singled off Denisa Józsová. She finished the game with an amazing six runs, going 1-for-1 with two RBI, three walks and two times plunked. She took the mound the next game and took the team's first loss, allowing three runs in three innings against the Netherlands while Zoë Lageweg, Ciska Welboren and Simone Willemse were no-hitting Britain. She hit .333/.714/.333 for the event with four steals in four tries, three walks, five times hit-by-pitch and nine runs. She handled six chances error-free. She tied Emma Patry for the event lead in runs, tied for 10th in walks, led in hit-by-pitch (one ahead of Petra Kolkusová), tied for second in swipes (one behind Wendy Bladt) and was second in OBP (.119 behind Anouk Vergunst as a big star of the first British women's team. [5]