February 27, 2009
WEST POINT -- Center fielder Deshuni Sanders connected with a Brook Robinson fast ball for a leadoff inside the park home run in the first inning to give the New Hope High School softball team a 1-0 lead against West Point.
Shortstop Kelli Petty tripled and designated player DJ Sanders doubled in an eight-run first inning that saw 11 Lady Trojans batters come to the plate.
New Hope (2-1) scored nine more runs in the next three innings en route to a 17-0 victory in the Class 4A, Division 4 game.
"The leadoff home run was big," New Hope coach Tabitha Beard said. "Deshuni has been all over the ball the last two games, hitting the ball real solid and she has been able to find some gaps. We hit the ball real well, and I was proud of the effort in hitting tonight."
Sanders went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored. She also reached base on infield errors.
Petty went 1-for-2 and an RBI and reached base twice on fielding errors.
New Hope starting pitcher Lauren Holifield, an eighth-grader, pitched the first two innings allowing only one hit, striking out one, and walking one.
Holifield started off the bottom of the first with an eight-run cushion. She said starting off with such a big lead eases the adjustment to begin the game.
"It takes a lot of pressure off," Holifield said. "I threw a lot of inside fastballs and the changeup worked, too."
With three teams coming up in a weekend round-robin, Beard wanted Holifield rested.
"Lauren had a big night, and she has a big weekend coming up, so I took her out and let her rest. I was proud of both pitchers," Beard said.
DJ Sanders entered the game in the top of the third and pitched two scoreless innings until the game was called at the end of four innings.
Sanders struck out three and walked one. She went 2-for-4 with a two-out RBI single in the top of the fourth. She also scored one run.
Sanders was pleased her teammates had given her a 13-0 lead before she entered the circle.
"It''s easier and takes a lot of pressure off your shoulders," DJ Sanders said. "I was pleased but I can do better. I pitched a lot of fastballs and inside changeups."
The Lady Green Wave (1-1) had only one hit and one walk. Robinson went the distance, giving up 11 hits amid a flurry of defensive miscues, including the seven-error first inning.
Elizabeth Robinson had a single in the bottom of the first.
"We''re not a big hitting team and getting down big was just too much," West Point coach Libby Forrester said. "You''ve got to hit to score and we just didn''t do it."
New Hope travels Saturday to Grenada to play in a round-robin with South Panola, Brandon, and Grenada.
West Point travels to West Lauderdale next Tuesday.