Athlete of the week: Greyhounds softball player is off to torrid start at the plate


Carmel High School senior first baseman Hope McDonald has developed into a consistent force at the plate.

“I definitely feel like I have a lot better plate approaches since my sophomore year,” McDonald said. “I feel like I’m just more comfortable going up there looking early on the count for my pitch. Being a power lefty, a lot of pitchers like to throw me outside. So, (I’m) looking for that pitch early in the count, not waiting to get down in the count. Last year, I feel like I did a much better job with that in comparison to my sophomore year.”

Through the first four games, McDonald is hitting .643 with two home runs and six runs batted in. As a junior, she hit .456 with six homers and 30 RBIs. She hit .297 with one homer as a sophomore.


Greyhounds softball coach Ginger Britton has watched McDonald improve each season.

“Hope’s biggest strength at the plate is her mental approach,” Britton said. “She understands the count and what pitches she wants to swing at when she is ahead. She is adaptable if she gets behind in the count and with two strikes is still on the offensive, which allows her to put better balls in play.”

Britton said McDonald is at her best when there is a runner on base.

“She thrives in her role of continuing the inning,” Britton said. “As she got older and stronger, balls that were hard-hit singles have turned into hard-hit doubles and now have started to exit the field. Her quality of bats has increased, and she leads the team in RBIs.”

McDonald, who throws right but has always hit left-handed, said she used to be more of a slap hitter but became more of a power hitter by the time she reached high school.

McDonald primarily plays in the outfield for her club team, the Indiana Bombers.

She has concentrated on being more of a vocal leader this year.

“Our team has a lot of underclassmen that are playing varsity for the first time, so it’s a whole new ball game for them,” McDonald said. “They’re seeing better pitching. I’m definitely setting a goal of being a mentor for all the young girls.”

McDonald, who has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Coastal Carolina next season, plans to major in biological sciences or exercise science.

“When I was researching schools for that major, Coastal Carolina was one of the top ones,” she said. “I also wanted a warmer place to play softball. “

McDonald attended a Coastal Carolina camp in August of 2021 and committed shortly afterward.

Favorite TV show: “Friends”

Favorite movie: “Avatar”

Favorite subject: Science or biology

Favorite vacation spot: Catalina Island in California