(Amesbury) This game will not be fondly remembered by AHS Coach Chris Perry and his Amesbury Indian softball team.
Why? With a chance to win the Cape Ann League Division 2 title, Amesbury played poorly and lost to Newburyport, 7-4, on Wednesday afternoon.
The Newburyport win means that the Clippers (who won the CAL D2 title last year) have earned at least a tie for the title. The pressure is now on Amesbury because they have a game (Thursday) at home with Triton that they must win to also share the title.
Newburyport (15-3) has now won twelve of their last thirteen games and with this win they avenge an early-season 10-9 loss at Newburyport.
The Clippers built up a 4-0 lead after 4 ½ innings and then gave all four runs back in the bottom of the fifth. The Indians gave up three more runs in the top of the sixth and never recovered.
Hits were plentiful (20) and Amesbury lost despite having at least one hit in every inning. Amesbury loaded the bases twice and didn’t score either time. The toughest was the 4th when they loaded the bases with no outs.
Let’s just say that there was plenty of offense! It was the defenses that surprised me – “subpar,” would put it kindly because Amesbury had three errors and Newburyport five. The “good” news for the Clippers was that theirs all happened during the Indians four-run fifth.
The Indians spread their mistakes out. There wasn’t a single Newburyport run that couldn’t be considered some sort of gift.
Amesbury also had, by my estimation, five costly mental mistakes. Catchable popups dropped in between Ali French and Janine Fatal and later Erin Leary and Cassie Schultz and both runners scored. Third baseman Anna Kate Webber fielded a grounder in the sixth and instead of getting the out at first tried to catch the runner off third unsuccessfully. On a relatively deep fly ball to left, Ashley Valme (on third base) didn’t tag up and score. The most grievous was the fifth one. The Indians had a two-out rally started with a single by Janine Fatal and then another single, this time by Amanda Schell. However, on Amanda’s hit Janine rounded second too far and Lea Tomasz’s throw to second baseman Taylor Summit nailed her for the final out of the game.
I apologize for beating on the Amesbury team with this summary but it was all so uncharacteristic of a very good team. You certainly don’t get to be 17-2 the way they played in this one.
Newburyport won this one but if all you saw of this game was them in the field in the fifth inning you would have wondered how. After two outs things got real ugly. Over the next six batter third baseman Maddy Stanton had three errors. Normally sure-handed it was shocking to see grounders go off her glove as well as under her glove. It is an unwritten rule that if someone is having trouble in the field the ball will always find them. It sure happened to Maddy. Pitcher Molly Rowe bobbled a grounder and there was also a throwing error to home (by shortstop Kendra Dow?).
But other than the fifth inning, Newburyport was solid in the field. As for Amesbury, they hit very well but were out of character in the other aspects of the game.
In the Newburyport first, Lea Tomasz singled up the middle and later scored on Ashley Casellini’s sacrifice fly to center.
In the Newburyport second, Taylor Summit walked and eventually scored on Rachel Webster’s sacrifice fly to right.
In the Newburyport fifth, Eleni Kacher and Lea Tomasz reached second and third and Kendra Dow drove in both of them with a single to right.
In the Amesbury fifth, the Indians had one hit (Erin Leary single) but benefited from the five Clipper errors. Scorers were; Ali French, Erin Leary, Ashley Valme, and Alexis Boswell.
In the Newburyport sixth, the Clippers loaded the bases and Rachel Webster scored on Lea Tomasz’ fielder’s choice. Eleni Kacher scored on catcher Laura Kaminski’s throwing error and Maddy Stanton reached home on Cassie Davis’ sacrifice fly to center.
Another memory from this game was the extended delay in Amesbury’s 4-run fifth when AHS Coach Chris Perry argued for the longest time on a ruling that gave his Indians two runs. That the umpires didn’t end the discussion and resume play had me believing that they weren’t sure that they had it right.
The weather was shocking. Who expects a game played under sunny skies with temperatures in the 70’s in April/May in these parts??
Both Lea Tomasz and Eleni Kacher had two hits and scored two runs. Kendra Dow had two RBI.
Laura Kaminski, Erin Leary, Ashley Valme, and Janine Fatal all had two hits for Amesbury.
Prior to this game with Newburyport, Amesbury had allowed less than two runs per game over the last ten games.
Both teams have qualified for the state tournament.
(I keep track of things myself and take my own pictures. Mistakes are not uncommon.)