MOUNT PLEASANT — The Wando softball team couldn’t have picked a better time of year to play its best.
Danica Newton pitched a four-hit shutout, while Virginia Moore had three hits and Kayla Bannister added two to lead Wando past Beaufort, 5-0, Wednesday night in the opening round of the Class AAAA softball playoffs.
The second-ranked Warriors (23-3) will take on Lexington, a 3-0 winner over South Florence, on Friday night in the second round in the double-elimination format beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Wando High School.
Beaufort (15-8) will travel to South Florence on Friday in an elimination game.
The Warriors finished the regular season on a 10-game winning streak and posted shutouts in five of their last six regular season games.
The Warriors continued that momentum against the Eagles.
Newton (23-2) struck out 10 and walked four. Newton, who has 560 career strikeouts, has signed a scholarship to play at Erskine College next season.
“She’s been our workhorse all season,” Wando coach Steve Legette said. “Everything was kind of working for her tonight. She used both corners of the plate and had her curveball working pretty good. What’s improved about her the most is her defense. She likes to take charge for us out there.”
The Warriors got all the offense they needed in the first inning, scoring three runs with Bannister and Emily Stafford each with run-scoring singles.
The Warriors added another run in the third and one in the fourth. The score could have been worse had the Warriors not left 13 runners on base.
“We can’t leave that many runners on base as we get deeper into the playoffs,” Legette said. “We’ve got to find a way to get those runs.”
Beaufort 000 000 0—0 4 1
Wando 301 010 x—5 9 1
WP: Danica Newton (23-2). LP: Jenny Mullins. Records: Wando 23-3, Beaufort 15-8.