Newburyport defeats North Reading 14-5

Izzy Rosa scored four goals
Anna Affolter on the move

(Newburyport) The Newburyport girls’ lacrosse team is very good.

“They play some of the best team lacrosse in the state,” said North Reading coach Matt Costello after his game today versus the Clippers.

Newburyport (14-1) defeated the Hornets, 14-5, in Cape Ann League action winning their tenth straight. The Clippers are now 8-0 at home and 11-0 in the CAL.

“They have a lot of talent, but they use it together as a team,” added Coach Costello.

The Clippers should have been tired after a tough battle yesterday against Bishop Guertin arguably one of the best teams in New Hampshire. 

And they were tired but with experienced depth on both sides of the field it hardly mattered.

“We were definitely tired today,” said Clippers Coach Catherine Batchelder, “but we were able to play everybody a lot.  We took a load off the starters from yesterday.”

Makenna Ward

“We try to play together no matter what,” explained Makenna Ward post-game.  “It isn’t always one person trying to do everything.”

The Clippers had scoring from nine different players with Izzy Rosa leading the scorers with four goals and two assists.

North Reading (7-9) had the defensive skills to keep the Clippers from rushing straight into their end and launching shots.  However, on this afternoon, the Clippers were good enough running set offenses that they prevailed anyway.

Newburyport scored eight unanswered goals to start the game and had that 8-0 lead with nine minutes left in the first half.

Brela Pavao and Bri Slattery

Bri Slattery broke through for North Reading and Jenna DiNapoli added another goal.  The halftime score was, 10-2.

The Clippers started the second half with four straight scores to enlarge their advantage to, 14-2, with nine minutes left.

In the process of growing their lead, the Clippers also moved this game into running time.

North Reading closed the game with three straight goals.

“North Reading has really improved from the first time we saw them (April 27th),” said Coach Batchelder.  “I thought that their goalie (Kaitlyn Supple) was excellent.”

“We’ve been working on execution and good decision-making on offense,” said Coach Costello.  “At the end of today’s game, we protected our sticks and did better at staying out of pressure.”

Newburyport is #1 in the MIAA Division 3 power rankings.  North Reading is #16.  Thirty-two teams make the tournament.

Emily Fuller

“There’s a chance we could play North Reading in the tournament,” said Coach Batchelder.  “The higher ranked team will have the home game until the Final Four.”

Makenna Ward: “Our defense is very complicated but fun.  When we click it looks (and works) so good.”

Coach Batchelder: “We have tough games at home next week against Manchester-Essex and Bedford (NH).”

Newburyport   10   4   =   14

North Reading   2   3   =      5

Newburyport goals: Izzy Rosa (4), Reese Bromby (2), Anna Affolter (2), Brela Pavao (1), Lilly Pons (1), Rita Cahalane (1), Olivia McDonald (1), Emily Fuller (1), Maddie Heath (1).

North Reading goals: Bri Slattery (2), Lilly McInerney (2), Jenna DiNapoli (1).

Newburyport’s four seniors (Sydney Turner, Elizabeth Turgeon, Audrey Cooper, Emily Fuller) were honored pre-game. 

Newburyport seniors

The weather was splendid. 

North Reading goalie Kaitlyn Supple

Ali Labb

Emily Fuller

Finding the camera

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7-6 walkoff win for Amesbury vs Ipswich

Amesbury had defensive struggles
Matt McGowan had 3 hits for Ipswich

(Amesbury) Amesbury may not have played well…..but they played well enough.

Amesbury (12-4) got a walkoff, 7-6 win against Ipswich on Tuesday afternoon.

Jake Harring delivered the walkoff hit.

“It felt good,” he said, “but I’m not sure we should have celebrated that hard.  We’ve got to be better.”

Unofficially, Amesbury had more errors (eight) than they had runs.  Outfield drops, infield bobbles, you name it, it was happening this afternoon.

“It was an ugly baseball game,” said Amesbury coach Joel Brierley afterwards.  “Someone had to win, and it happened to be us.”

Luke Arsenault homered in the second inning for Amesbury

It was just another tough loss in a season of tough losses for Ipswich (3-11).

“Today is the third game we’ve had the lead going into the seventh inning and lost in a walkoff,” said Ipswich coach Zack Lamkin afterwards.

The Tigers had seven hits and stranded ten baserunners.

Matt McGowan ended up with three hits and drove in two runs for Ipswich.

Trevor Kimball was the hard-luck starter for Amesbury.  The AHS junior went five innings, allowing six hits and five runs (all unearned).

Amesbury, despite its defensive misadventures, put single runs on the board in each of the first four innings.

AJ Pezza scored the 5th Ipswich run

A Luke Arsenault homer to left accounted for the Amesbury run in the second inning.

Ipswich carried a 5-4 lead after five innings.

Things turned for Amesbury in the Ipswich sixth inning when centerfielder Drew MacDonald made a good catch and then a very good running catch.  Those catches kept the Tigers from enlarging their one-run lead.

In the bottom of the sixth, Drew whacked a double to rightfield that drove in two runs and put Amesbury in front, 6-5.

Credit Ipswich for recovering. 

Play at first

Drew Lane walked leading off the seventh.  Josiah Scarano pinch-ran and was bunted to second by AJ Pezza.  Matt McGowan delivered the tying run with a single.

Amesbury came into this game averaging seven runs per game.  They only had six going into their half of the seventh inning. 

Luke Arsenault doubled down the leftfield line with one out to lead off the seventh.  He was moved to third by a Tyler Bartniski sacrifice bunt.  That set Jake Harring up for the game-winning hit.

“It was off the end a little bit,” said Jake of the game-winner.  “I didn’t think it would go over his (rightfielder) head, until I saw his back turned.”

“For the most part we controlled this game,” said Coach Lamkin afterwards.  “We battled today.  It’s just a matter of finishing.”

Drew Scialdone takes third base

Amesbury is currently #1 in the Division 4 MIAA power rankings.  Staying there will eliminate any early-round bus rides in the post-season.  Playing on the Amesbury High School field does have its drawbacks, however.

“This field is tough to figure out,” said Coach Brierley.  “You would think that we would have an advantage since we practice here but not necessarily.  Shea (Cucinotta) is a D2 shortstop and he still doesn’t know how to play this field.”

“That being said,” he added, “we still have to make the routine plays if we want to go far in the tournament.”

Cade Wetter scored two runs for Ipswich while Evan Stein had two hits.

Jake Harring, Drew Scialdone, Drew MacDonald, and Luke Arsenault each had two hits for Amesbury.

Drew Scialdone pitched two innings and picked up the W for Amesbury.

The weather was perfect.

     Ipswich   0   1   3   0   1   0   1   =   6

Amesbury   1   1   1   1   0   2   1   =   7

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Unofficial Amesbury box

Unofficial Ipswich box

Trevor Kimball was the Amesbury starter

Ipswich watching

Amesbury watching

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Triton holds off North Reading 6-4

Caitlin Reilly tagged out by Kyla Story in the first inning
Keely Hannon had seven strikeouts

(Byfield) Anyone paying attention knows that undefeated Amesbury is considered the best team in the Cape Ann League.

Second best?  That’s not nearly as certain.

Triton, however, staked its claim to that designation with a 6-4 win over North Reading this afternoon.

The Vikings victory offsets an April 7th, 9-3, loss at North Reading.

Triton (11-4) is now 8-1 in the CAL.  North Reading (9-5) falls to 8-2.  The Vikings haven’t faced Amesbury yet.  NR has and they lost, 11-0.

Izzy Oldini scores Triton’s 4th run

Triton was up 2-0 in the third inning today, but North Reading came back to tie things in the top of the fifth inning.  The Vikings tallied four runs in the bottom of the fifth only to have the Hornets get two of those runs back in the seventh inning. The visitors had the tying run at the plate before the final out was recorded.

“It was a good high school softball game,” said Triton coach Alan Noyes afterwards.  “It wasn’t the cleanest and we had to battle to win it.”

2B Mia Vittozzi catches a popup

North Reading had eleven hits led by Caitlin Reilly and Jocelyn Ostrowsky who each had three hits.

It was a frustrating loss for the Hornets.  Although they had a lot of hits, a three-hit first inning didn’t produce any runs because of an out on the bases.

More frustrating for North Reading were their defensive lapses.  Triton scored in three innings and wild pitches and passed balls played a large part in each inning.  In the four-run fourth, a throwing error allowed a run to cross.

“It just wasn’t our day,” said NR assistant coach Paul Sonia afterwards.

Senior Maddy Jacques scored two runs for Triton

In the Triton first, Maddy Jacques walked, went to second on a passed ball and was driven in by Izzy Oldini.

In Triton’s third inning, Kyla Story doubled, reached third on a wild pitch, and scored on Mallory Johnson’s two-out, two-strike single.

North Reading came all the way back with a two-run fifth inning.  Keely Hannon singled, reached second on a passed ball, and was driven in by Caitlin Reilly.  Caitlin later scored on Mia Vittozzi’s single. 

Izzy Oldini and Mallory Johnson each had an RBI in the Vikings’ four-run fifth. 

Caitlin Reilly had three hits and scored two runs

Credit North Reading for challenging the Triton lead in their final at-bats.  The Hornets had two on with two outs when Jocelyn Ostrowsky scored both of them with a single.  That brought the tying run to the plate, but Triton pitcher Emma Penniman registered her fifth strikeout to end the threat.

“It was an awesome win,” said Maddy Jacques post-game.  There was a special celebration afterwards for the Vikings’ only senior.

Maddy plays second base.  The sun can be very tough on that side of the field.

“That sun got them today, and it also got me once,” said Maddy.

“North Reading is a good team,” said Coach Noyes.  “They are one of the better hitting teams around.  Their pitcher (Keely Hannon) has plus stuff.”

Keely finished with seven strikeouts.

Mallory Johnson had two hits and scored two runs

Both teams have three non-league losses.

Triton has now won four of their last five games.

Maddy Jacques: “When I was a freshman, Senior Day seemed so far away.  I will be going to Endicott and majoring in business management.”

The last time the two teams played (April 7th) the temperatures were in the 30’s.  Today, the temperatures were in the 70’s! 

North Reading   0   0   0   0   2   0   2   =   4

               Triton   1   0   1   0   4   0    –   =   6

North Reading unofficial box

Triton unofficial box

SS Alyssa Cassicino checks baserunner Mallory Johnson

Izzy Oldini had two hits and drove in two runs

Less-than-serious moment between innings

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Triton wins third straight 10-0 over Ipswich

Cole Daniels slides home with the second Triton run
Tyler Egan was the winning pitcher

(Rowley) No mercy shown.

Triton has now gone the mercy-rule route three straight games.

Today the team on the other end of it was Ipswich.  The game concluded in the fifth inning after the Vikings (8-5) got a 10-0 lead.

“I have mixed feelings about the mercy rule,” said Triton coach Chris Lamothe afterwards.  “It does save your pitchers, but it also keeps you from putting in players who haven’t had much playing time.” 

Ipswich (3-9) stranded runners in all five innings and collected five hits.

RF Cole Daniels

Triton starter Tyler Egan was hit hard at times but the defense behind him made plays especially in the outfield.

“Ipswich hit some balls but right at people,” said Coach Lamothe.

“Tyler didn’t have his good stuff, but he battled,” Coach Lamothe added.

The Tigers struggled defensively in the first inning and Triton made them pay.

After the first two Vikings (DJ Watson & Cole Daniels) singled, Tyler lined to left.  The Tigers’ leftfielder hesitated, and the ball sailed over his head and a run scored.  The relay back in was mishandled and a second run scored. 

Drew Lane and Nick Dupuis

Next batter Andrew Johnson grounded to third.  The Ipswich third basemen had Tyler picked off second, but Tyler got into a rundown.  A bad throw in the rundown not only got Tyler to third but he kept going and slide home for the third Triton run.

In the fourth inning, Triton sent up twelve batters and added six more runs.

The Vikings had six hits in that inning.  The biggest hit was Tyler’s long two-out single that cleared the bases.

“We had great hitting today from top to bottom,” said Tyler afterwards.  The Vikings collected twelve hits.

Jack Lindholm took over for Tyler in the fifth inning and kept the shutout going.  The Tigers did get two baserunners (Jeremy Lathrop and Evan Stein) but Jack got a popup and a force-out to get out of it.

2B Rick Gardella handles a grounder
Evan Piscitelli led off the 5th with a hit

Pinch-hitter Evan Piscitelli led off the Triton fifth with a single up the middle.  Connor Rumpf came in to pinch-run.  Connor reached third on an infield error and came home with the game-winner thanks to an infield hit by Jakob Lennon.

“This is a good time for us to be hitting our stride,” said Coach Lamothe.  “We have North Reading on Saturday and Lynnfield and Newburyport next week.”

Triton needs two more wins to qualify for the state tournament. 

Connor Rumpf scores the game-winner

Tyler, Cole Daniels, and Jack Lindholm all had two hits.  DJ Watson and Connor Rumpf each scored two runs.

Finn MacLennan pitched the entire way for Ipswich.  He did have a hit in the third inning.

I was fooled again by the weather.  Eiras Field had little wind and bright sun. 

Ipswich    0   0   0   0   0   =     0

    Triton   3   0   0   6   1   =   10

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Ipswich unofficial box

Triton unofficial box

DJ Watson heads for third

Tyler Egan slides home in the first inning

Jack Lindholm pitched the final inning

Tyler Egan picked up the win and had four RBI

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Amesbury routs Pentucket 21-0

Seniors from Pentucket and Amesbury
Alana DeLisle had four hits and struck out twelve

(Amesbury) The numbers are mind boggling!

Amesbury (12-0) has now scored 158 runs and given up 3 runs.

This afternoon they mercy-ruled Pentucket, 21-0.

Pentucket, which is now 6-7, had been in every game until today.

“They are obviously an unbelievable team,” said Pentucket coach Deb Smith afterwards.  “They hit 1-9.  We’re never going to face a team like this again.”

Today was Senior Day for Amesbury’s four seniors: Liv DeLong, Alana DeLisle, Olivia Levasseur, and Ella Bezanson.

“I started watching them when they were eighth graders on our freshman team,” recalled Amesbury coach Jacqui Waters.  “They are all great players.”

Olivia Levasseur had a 3-run homer

There will be next-level softball for all four of them.  Liv will be at Boston University while the other three are headed for Southern Maine.

“We’ve been together since third grade,” said Liv.  “Senior Day is a bit sad but we’re all going on to play some more.  We’ll leave behind a lot of memories, though.”

In this game, all the Amesbury players had at least one hit and scored at least one run.  Eight players in the lineup had RBI.

“We hit the ball hard,” said Coach Waters.

Amesbury sent eleven batters to the plate in the first inning and collected six runs on seven hits.

Ella Bezanson scored four times

Amesbury’s most productive inning was the third in which fifteen batters came up and totaled nine runs on ten hits.

“We were hitting the gaps today,” said Ella Bezanson. There were nine extra-base hits.

The most celebrated hit for Amesbury was in the fourth inning when Olivia Levasseur cleared the fence in left.

“It’s exciting running the bases and seeing the crowd at home plate,” said Olivia.  “It was like a dream come true.”

“I knew it was gone because I hit it a certain way,” she added.  This was Olivia’s second home run of the season.

Alana DeLisle

Easily lost in all the hitting, was the effective pitching of Alana DeLisle. 

The game was over after Pentucket batted in the fifth inning but Alana had enough time to record twelve strikeouts.

“I threw some curves today,” said Alana.  “I did what Ella (her sister, the catcher) told me to do.” Alana also made a nice diving catch of a short popup between the mound and home plate.

Pentucket did get two hits off Alana.  Nikki Mitchell lined a single to center in the first inning while teammate Meg Hamel singled sharply to left in the fourth inning.

Ella Bezanson paced Amesbury scoring four times.  Alana DeLisle led Amesbury with four hits (three doubles and a single).  Olivia Levasseur was tops in RBI with five.

Liv DeLong

“We’re moving on,” said Coach Smith. “We’ll put this game behind us.”

A food truck was available as part of the post-game Senior Day festivities.  I’ll admit I was tempted.

I was badly fooled by the weather.  I have had straight days requiring multi-layers.  Today it was sunny with no wind.  It felt good!

Pentucket   0   0   0   0   0   =    0

Amesbury   6   2   9   4   –    =  21

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Amesbury unofficial box

Pentucket unofficial box

Watching the game

Coach Smith visits the mound

Alana DeLisle makes a diving catch

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Amesbury gets strong pitching/hitting in 9-3 win over North Reading

Drew Scialdone (with Coach Brierley) had three hits and four RBI
Trevor Kimball K’d eight Hornets

(Amesbury) Amesbury (9-4) got excellent pitching and hitting and defeated North Reading, 9-3, on Tuesday afternoon.

Trevor Kimball went the distance and the Amesbury hitters had ten hits.

“Amesbury is a really good team especially with (Trevor) Kimball on the mound,” said NR coach Eric Archambault afterwards.

Trevor had eight strikeouts and ended each of the final four innings with K’s.

The Hornets (7-6) left baserunners in all seven innings.  “We had our chances,” said Coach Archambault, “and we might have gained some momentum with some timely hitting.”

Shea Cucinotta and Craig Rubino

Drew Scialdone and Shea Cucinotta carried the Amesbury offense.

Drew was three-for-four, scored twice, and drove in four runs.

Shea also had three hits.  In his other at-bat the AIC commit walked.  He scored four runs.

“When guys are on base, you have to be a timely hitter and knock them in,” said Drew post-game.

“In my second at-bat I told myself not to swing at a curve,” he added.  “But I got two strikes on me and so I took a swing at a curve and got a hit.”

“Drew has been awesome for us,” said Coach Brierley.  “He’s hitting over .500 and has great confidence.”

Matt Ryan had three hits for NR

Amesbury jumped ahead in the first as Drew’s double scored Shea.

In the third inning, Drew’s single (off a curve) produced one run and Will Arsenault’s single brought home two more. 

Nick Doucette’s single in the fourth inning delivered Ryan McCullough. That lessened the NR deficit to 4-1.

Amesbury responded with their biggest inning of the game.  Drew was again in the middle of the hitting attack.  This time it was a single that drove home Luke Arsenault and Jake Harring.  Trouble in the NR outfield led to two more runs in that productive fourth inning.

The Hornets put three hits together in their fifth inning.  Ryan Baker and Aldo Vittozzi had RBI.  Matt Ryan (who had three hits) scored one of North Reading’s two runs.

Coach Brierley and Coach Archambault

Trevor held the Hornets scoreless in the final two innings.

“He (Trevor) mixed his pitches, threw strikes, and commanded the zone,” said Coach Archambault.

“Trevor was phenomenal,” added Coach Brierley.  “He was throwing breaking balls for strikes and he was keeping his fastball low.”

Second baseman Jake Harring made a nice play behind second base on a grounder at the start of the North Reading fifth.

“Our defense, for the most part, made the plays,” said Jake.

Ball drops into the Amesbury outfield

Amesbury has three straight wins over North Reading.

North Reading is now 0-5 on the road.  “We’ve got to get back to the lab and turn things around,” said Coach Archambault.

Amesbury is now 6-2 in the Cape Ann League while the Hornets drop to 4-5.

A common occurrence in most of the games I’ve covered is that the visiting team arrives late, as North Reading did today.  The reason is almost always the same one, getting a bus.

The weather was cold, windy, and unpleasant.  I’m hearing of 80’s on Saturday.  Now won’t that be nice!

North Reading   0   0   0   1   2   0   0   =   3

        Amesbury   1   0   3   4   0   1   –    =   9

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Amesbury unofficial box

North Reading unofficial box

Drew Scialdone tries to score on a passed ball. Catcher Alex Carucci applies the tag for the out.

Watching the game

Drew Scialdone scores a run

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Meg Hamel’s two homers lead Pentucket to 17-1 win over Saugus

Meg Hamel went deep twice against Saugus
Kendra Griffin had three hits and scored four times

(Groveland) You’re there at the Groveland Pines dog park to watch your dog get some exercise.

Today that watching also needed to include incoming softballs.

Especially when #15 was batting.

Twice today Pentucket’s Meg Hamel cleared the leftfield fence.  The second shot was a grand slam.

Pentucket routed Saugus, 17-1.

Who saw this coming?

Two weeks ago, the teams met in Saugus and the home team won, 9-8.

Coach Deb Smith and Coach Steve Almquist

“Talk about night and day,” said Saugus coach Steve Almquist afterwards.  “They hit the ball all day and we couldn’t make any plays.”

“The last time we played there were a lot of errors, and we didn’t string hits together,” recalled Pentucket coach Deb Smith.

Neither one of those was a problem today for the home team at Groveland Pines.

Pentucket had fifteen hits in the four innings they batted.

“We’re on a roll with our hits,” said Coach Smith.  “We’re hitting the ball hard now.”

Devany Millerick scores for Saugus

In the Pentucket first, the first two batters reached and Nikki Mitchell singled them home.  Meg Hamel then launched the first of her home runs.  Instantly, it was, 4-0.

The Sachems (6-5) got a run back in the second.  A throwing error and several wild pitches allowed Devany Millerick (who had singled) to score for Saugus.

A two-out infield error enabled Kendra Griffin to get the run back in the second inning.  Kendra eventually scored four times and had three hits in the game.

Two weeks ago, Saugus spotted Pentucket four runs early and then rallied to take the lead for good.

Trouble in the infield

Not today.

Pentucket (6-6) blew open the 5-1 game in the 4th inning.  Sixteen batters went to the plate and Pentucket collected twelve runs on eight hits.

Saugus hurt themselves defensively with three errors in the disastrous inning. 

The visitors were also unlucky. A Pentucket batter reached after striking out.  In another situation, Saugus had their infield in with the bases loaded and a popup fell in just where they would normally have been positioned.  It just wasn’t their day!

3B Emma Lopata handles an infield chance

“They gave us extra outs and we took advantage,” said Coach Smith.

Meg Hamel had homered in the first, struck out in the second, and struck out the first time she batted in the 4th inning.  On the senior’s second at-bat in the 4th inning she again went deep, this time with the bases loaded.

“It felt really good to get them,” Meg said afterwards.

“Meg Hamel was awesome today,” said Coach Smith.  “I loved that.  She works so hard.  I’m so happy for her.”

Nikki Mitchell scored three times and had three RBI

Lost in all the Pentucket offense was the three-hit pitching of Molly LeBel.  Molly held the Sachems hitless in the final two innings.  She also had nine strikeouts in the game.

“We didn’t do much right today,” said Coach Almquist.  “Pentucket is a very good team.  We’re going to try and get them back on our schedule next year.”

Felicia Reppucci, Fallon Millerick, and Devany Millerick had the hits for Saugus.

Nikki Mitchell had two hits, three RBI, and scored three times for Pentucket.

Kayla Murphy had a solid game at short and scored three times.

The wind today was persistent often stirring up dust. 

      Saugus   0   1   0   0   0   =   1

Pentucket   4   1   0   12   –  =  17

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Saugus pitcher Fallon Millerick sets to throw to first base

Meg Hamel surrounded after two-run homer in the first inning.

Meg Hamel heads for home

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Charlie Forrest tosses 1-hitter as Clippers defeat North Reading 10-0

Charlie Forrest allowed only one hit
Craig Rubino had NR’s only hit

(Newburyport) It figured to be a close game.

North Reading and Newburyport had played in April and the Clippers needed three runs over the final two innings to pull out a, 5-4, win.

Charlie Forrest had pitched well in that one in long relief (four innings) to get the win.

Charlie was the starter this afternoon and he took “pitched well” to another level.

The final was Newburyport 10, North Reading 0, in a mercy-rule ending in the sixth inning.

Charlie tossed a one-hitter and retired the last nine Hornets in order.

Coach Archambault and Coach Rowe

“Charlie was dealing out there today,” said Clippers coach Mark Rowe afterwards.

He certainly wasn’t overpowering.  Just effective.

“I was just throwing strikes,” explained Charlie post-game.  “My teammates made all the plays.”

Making plays was what North Reading struggled to do today.  The Hornets (7-5) also had runners thrown out at second and third.

Trouble with a popup

“We played terribly,” said NR coach Eric Archambault afterwards.  “This was our worst game of the season.”

“As a team we pride ourselves in our defense and baserunning and those two things absolutely killed us today,” he added.

“We took advantage of the extra chances they gave us,” said Coach Rowe.  “We made good contact all day.”

Play at first

The Clippers (10-3) had twelve hits spread among eight players.  Connor Stick, Jack Fehlner, Brady Ford, and Ty Cowles had two hits each.

An error, a wild pitch, and four hits produced Newburyport’s first three runs in the second inning.

The Clippers batted around in the fourth inning.  Two more NR errors and four Newburyport hits turned into four more runs for the home team.

Starter Ryan Baker

Meanwhile, Charlie Forrest, after giving up a hit to Craig Rubino in the first inning, was cruising.

“Their pitcher did a great job,” said Coach Archambault.  “He was hitting his spots and making his pitches, the whole thing.”

The Hornets’ Zach Rosatone reached second base in the second inning but was picked off.

In the third inning, pinch-runner Max Forristall tried to advance to third on a fly ball and was gunned down.

Charlie didn’t allow a baserunner over the final three innings.

Connor Stick scores the 6th Newburyport run

“My curve was working good especially low in the count,” explained Charlie.  “I followed it up later with the fastball that usually got them.”

The Clippers took a 7-0 lead into their half of the sixth inning.  They added two more hits and took three walks to get the three runs they needed to end the game.  Jack Sullivan’s walk drove across the winning run.

Six different Clippers had RBI.  Luke Stallard and Jack Fehlner each scored twice to lead in that category.

Jack Sullivan out at home

Coach Rowe: “We expected a battle today.  They’ve been playing great.  They’ve been scoring a ton of runs.”

Coach Archambault: “Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint.  We’ve had a bunch of good games recently and we dropped one today.  We got to respond going forward.”

Newburyport’s five seniors (Ty Cowles, Luke Stallard, Jack Fehlner, Owen Roberts, Brady Ford) were honored pre-game.

The weather was unpleasant.  Today we had temps in the low 50’s with a 20MPH wind.

North Reading   0   0   0   0   0   0   =   0

Newburyport     0   3   0   4   0   3   = 10

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Newburyport unofficial box

North Reading unofficial box

Watching the game

Shortstop Luke Stallard

Jason Curran fields a grounder as pitcher Ryan Labb runs to cover 1B

Max Puleo

Eli Suchecki bunts

Charlie Forrest
Max Forristall slides into an out

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Solid pitching/hitting leads Pentucket to 11-1 win over Ipswich

Molly LeBel gave up two hits and struck out fourteen
Emma Lopata had a happy afternoon

(Groveland) “It all got put together today,” said Pentucket pitcher Molly LeBel.

Molly sure did her part, allowing only two singles and striking out fourteen.

The Pentucket bats and defense were equally good in their 11-1 win over Ipswich at Groveland Pines on Friday afternoon.

Pentucket (5-5) had hits and runs in every inning and were flawless in the field.

Molly LeBel came into the game with her eye on reaching 100 strikeouts for the season.

Kendra Griffin steals second

“I set a goal for myself to get there today,” she said.  “I needed seven.”

Molly reaches her 7th at the end of a run of six straight strikeouts 2/3 of the way into the third inning.

“We faced a really good pitcher today,” said Ipswich coach Paul James afterwards.  “She threw hard, and she got ahead of us.”

Emma Campbell steals second

Pentucket had twelve hits and they were spread out throughout the game.

“We’re doing a much better job of coming out strong, of figuring out the pitcher right away,” said Pentucket coach Deb Smith.

Three batters into the first inning, the home team had two runs.  Kendra Griffin had a bunt single, Kayla Murphy tripled, and Nikki Mitchell had a fielder’s choice to get Pentucket off to a great start.

Seven different players had hits in the game for Pentucket.  Six different players scored runs and six different players had RBI. 

“Everyone did their job,” said Emma Lopata post-game. “We had a lot of big hits.”

Emma Lopata’s home run celebrated

Emma had the best stats with three hits, three runs, and three RBI.

Julia Connelly scored twice

One of Emma’s hits cleared the fence in left in the second inning and landed in the dog park.

“That was the first home run I’ve ever hit at any level,” she said.

She did add with a laugh that, “if the homer had hit a dog she would have felt badly.”

Sydney Pichette had a two-run double in the third and Emma had a two-run double in the fourth inning as Pentucket sent up nine batters and scored four runs.

By the end of the fourth inning Pentucket led, 9-0.

Alexa Eliopoulos scores for Ipswich

Molly went 4 2/3 innings without allowing a hit.  Annabel Morris broke up the no-hitter with a grounder to deep short.  Lexi James followed with another single and Alexa Eliopoulos (who had reached on a dropped third strike) came in to score for the Tigers (3-5).

Molly retired seven straight batters after that to emerge with an 11-1 win.

Pentucket is now 5-5.

“We didn’t quit today,” said Coach James.  “We’re getting better.  Tomorrow, we play Whittier.”

Kayla Murphy and Lexi James

Freshman Kayla Murphy had two triples and scored three runs.

Sophomore Julia Connelly scored twice as a pinch-runner.

Bailey Stock and Sydney Pichette both had two hits for Pentucket.

Ipswich starter Annabel Morris pitched her way out of a bases-loaded jam in the second inning.

Molly only walked two batters.  “She was steady today,” said Coach Smith.

The weather worked for me today, cloudy with temps in the 60’s.

     Ipswich   0   0   0   0   1   0   0   =   1

Pentucket   2   1   2   4   1   1   –   =   11

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Unofficial Ipswich box

Unofficial Pentucket box

Shortstop Lexi James throws home

Pentucket coach Deb Smith

Ipswich coach Paul James

Softball watchers

3B Emma Lopata throws to first

CF Elin Roberts under a fly ball

Pitcher Annabel Morris

Emma Lopata heads for home

Holding the runner at third base

Pentucket/Ipswich captains

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Vaughn O’Leary tosses 2-hitter as Manchester-Essex shuts out Pentucket 4-0

Colin Coyne scores the first Hornets run
Ethan Hunt had 12 K’s in six innings of relief

(Groveland) The two runs that Manchester-Essex put up in the first inning didn’t seem like too much at the time.

But then the pitching of Hornets starter Vaughn O’Leary kicked in and those runs grew in size as the innings rolled by.

Manchester-Essex defeated Pentucket, 4-0, on Thursday afternoon at Groveland Pines.

Vaughn finished with a two-hitter and collected eleven strikeouts.

“The umpire was giving me the outside corner and I was able to command all my pitches,” said Vaughn afterwards.  “I know I’m on when I can start with off-speed pitches against 3-4-5 hitters.”

Mike D’Oreo had two hits

“I give their pitcher a lot of credit,” said Pentucket coach Kevin Murray.  “He didn’t throw many balls.  He came right at our hitters and attacked us all game.  He lived on the outside and we didn’t do a great job of adjusting to that.”

A walk (Colin Coyne), and a double (Ryan Andrews) were followed by a wild pitch and a fielder’s choice.  The result was a two-run first inning for the visitors.

“Obviously, getting two runs in the first helped us a lot,” said Hornets coach James Weed post-game.  “It puts pressure on the other team.”

Coach Murray brought on Ethan Hunt to pitch in the second inning.  The UMass Boston commit struck out twelve Hornets over the next six inning of relief.

Vaughn O’Leary at game’s end

“Ethan pitched very well,” said Coach Murray.  “Even during the inning with the runs, the hits weren’t hit that hard.”

Pentucket’s best chance to get back in the game was in the third inning.  An infield error and a Max Ligols’ single put two runners on with no outs.  Vaughn then struck out the next three batters to end the threat and the inning.

Manchester-Essex (6-3) added two more runs in the sixth inning.  The Hornets had two hits early in the inning (Ryan Andrews, Henry Otterbein) and two hits later on (Mike D’Oreo, Zak Porat) to drive in the runs. 

Kyle Ventola steals second

Pentucket (5-5) got two runners on with two outs in their half of the sixth inning, but Vaughn ended the threat by getting Chase Dwight to fly out deep to center.

Vaughn O’Leary: “I couldn’t have done it without my defense.  We could have lost this game if they hadn’t made plays.”

Coach Weed: “This team reminds me of the 2019 state champion team.  They’re not as talented but they’re proving a lot of doubters wrong.  They’re hitting as well as the 2019 team.  They’re fun to coach.  They play with energy.”

LF Colby Doane

Kyle Ventola and Max Ligols had Pentucket’s two hits.

Ryan Andrews and Mike D’Oreo each had two hits for Manchester-Essex.-

The weather was perfect.  Not too hot.  Not too cold with sunshine.

Manchester-Essex   2   0   0   0   0   2   0   =   4

               Pentucket   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   =   0

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Unofficial Pentucket box

Unofficial Manchester-Essex box

Catcher Kyle Ventola looks for a sign

Hornets watching

Vaughn Leary scores in the sixth inning

2B Justin Majka waits to tag Colby Doane

Brian Inger

AJ Pallazola steals second

Coach James Weed and Ryan Andrews

Colin Coyne and 3B Bryce Winter

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