WEST POINT — Leadoff hitter Lexi McBrayer went 2 for 5 with a triple, three runs scored and five RBIs as the New Hope High School softball team took down West Point 20-2 on Thursday night in four innings in the Class 5A, Region1 opener for both teams.
Strong pitching and stronger hitting saw the Trojans take control early, and they put the game well out of reach.
“It was nice because we had to adjust to different pitchers after (West Point) switched,” New Hope coach Casey Finch said. “They faced a different windup, different speed, and having the patience and seeing them adjust to it was really nice.
“We’re very capable of doing this, we talked in our huddle about how hitting is contagious, it continues, and we have to build on that. We have to come out, be aggressive in the box, and string hits together.”
Taylor Brownlee, Madyson McBrayer and Emma O’Bryant also had two hits apiece for the Trojans, who used 13 hits, seven walks and three West Point errors to score their 20 runs.
New Hope pitcher Adi Dueitt pitched a very good game from start to finish, only conceding runs during the first inning. New Hope took a quick 3-0 lead on a bases-loaded double by Brownlee with two out in the top of the first, but West Point responded in their half of the inning as Ja’leah Orr hit a two-run inside-the-park home run to deep right-center.
It was a promising start for the home team, but ultimately their only challenge to Dueitt, who put together three straight shutout innings after that, allowing the Trojans to build on their lead.
Two runs in the second inning on a steal of home and a run-scoring ground ball gave the Trojans a bit more comfort on the scoreboard, and the floodgates really opened during the third and fourth innings.
Five singles and an error led to six runs in the top of the third, and Lexi McBrayer’s two-run triple keyed a nine-run fourth which also included RBI singles by Kensley Wollbright and Zoe Goodman, two bases-loaded walks and a run-scoring wild pitch.
Dueitt retired nine of the last 10 batters she faced, finishing with eight strikeouts against one walk as the Trojans improved to 7-8-1. They will face the Green Wave again at home on April 4.
Next up for the Trojans will be region games against Columbus on Tuesday and Thursday. West Point will return to action immediately, playing Houlka at home on Friday and at Kemper County on Saturday afternoon.