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Solid approach in all aspects of game results in 5-3 home opener win for Eastside

COVINGTON — Eastside pitcher Madison Hopper may not have been a strikeout pitcher, but she played a solid game holding Jackson to four hits as the Lady Eagles won their home opener 5-2 on Tuesday.

Hopper only had two strikeouts, but she kept almost every hit from reaching the outfield keeping the Lady Red Devils (1-3) from gaining any momentum. Jackson had two hits into the outfield which resulted in outs.

“She kept the ball down. I’m really pleased with my pitching this year,” Eastside head coach Jason Stokes said. “It’s going to help us win a lot ballgames. She only had two strikeouts which means we were making all the plays.”

Both of Jackson’s runs, one in the fourth and one in the fifth inning, were unearned coming off errors. Eastside (5-1) on the other hand, earned all five of their runs.

“I thought we played a well rounded ballgame,” Stokes said. “Both runs they scored were unearned, so other than that it was pretty clean ballgame in the field.”

Offensively, the Lady Eagles had 10 hits with Cati Ray going 3-for-3 with an RBI while reaching base all four times at bat. Ray was hit by Jackson pitcher Kaitlyn Moore with the first pitch of the game. Getting two hits off Moore were Taz Powell, Brittany Medlin and Hopper.

“You love that out of your lead-off hitter,” Stokes said of Ray. “Taz put down a couple of good bunts in the No. 2 hole and Hopper got an RBI single.”

Also getting an RBI were Bailey Stewart, Medlin and Lexi DiBuccio.

“We also swung the bats,” Stokes said. “We put the ball in play and that pitcher was a pretty good pitcher.”

Eastside got off to a good start with Ray crossing the plate in the first and third inning to take a 2-0 lead. After allowing the Lady Red Devils to tie the game, RBI’s by Medlin and DiBuccio plated Hopper and Medlin in the fifth inning to keep the lead with the final run coming in the sixth.

Eastside will be back on the road today at 5:30 p.m. against county-rival Alcovy.