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Oxford softball falls to New Hope in 2-5A matchup

Mother Nature tried to cancel an all-important Region 2-5A matchup between the Oxford and New Hope softball teams, but the Chargers and Trojans got the last laugh with a little help.

With the Chargers’ field washed out from a late afternoon rainstorm that came through the area, the game was moved over to FNC Park where New Hope defeated Oxford 13-8 on Thursday night.

Oxford (10-6-1) dropped to 0-2 in region play after falling on the road to Saltillo on Tuesday.

“We’ve seen both major district opponents this week, and we have to believe we’re in it. We have to,” Oxford head coach Tabitha Beard said. “In my opinion, we’re still much better than that team we just played.”

The offense came on late for the Chargers, but they could not get over five errors, back-to-back four-run innings in the second and third by New Hope (8-3, 2-0) and a short outing by starter Brittany Beard.

Beard lasted 2 1/3 innings, allowing nine runs, six earned, on seven hits while striking out two Trojan batters.

“What you saw tonight was the worst effort our pitcher has given all year,” the Chargers’ first-year coach said. “I think being from New Hope, she tried to do a little too much on the mound. She let her emotions get to her and she left the ball in places she never should. We didn’t help her any at times.”

Along with the eight runs in the second and third frames, New Hope scored a run in the first and two more in the fifth and seventh innings for the final margin.

Starting second baseman Madison Crosby worked the final 4 2/3 innings for Oxford. She also went 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored. Beard was also 2-for-4 in the leadoff spot and scored two runs as well.

In the early going, Oxford had a quick 2-1 lead after the first inning but then was up against the wall after the Trojans’ offensive outburst the following frames. The Chargers did manage to score two runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings off of seven hits but ran out of outs to catch up to New Hope.

Third baseman DeeDee Mathis was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

“Madison stepped in and did a great job for us,” Beard said. “I felt like we did great. We just had some errors and miscues that kept us out of it. If we look at the hits, we were there with them or above, but defensively we kept ourselves out of it.”