(Newburyport) Newburyport defeated Haverhill, 10-2, on Thursday afternoon at Perkins Field in a non-league softball game.
The Clippers (11-3) have won eight of their last nine games and the contrast between them and visiting Haverhill (1-15) took a while to become evident.
I went anticipating a blowout and even tried, before the game, to get up to speed on softball’s mercy rule. But this wasn’t one of those kinds of games, in fact the Hillies led 2-1 into the bottom of the 4th.
Newburyport got it’s run in the first on a double to right center by Lea Tomasz and 2-out bloop single to center by Rachel Webster.
Haverhill took the lead in a wild third inning after going runner-less in the first two innings. They loaded the bases with one out on a Ellie MacArthur single to right, a hit batsman (Liz Murphy) and late throw to 3b by pitcher Molly Rowe on Kayla Pellot’s bunt. Second baseman Taylor Summit took in Kallie Suplinskas’s liner and nearly picked Ellie MacArthur off of third for what would have been the last out. Then Taylor dropped Casey Birch’s infield popup to let in the Hillies first run and Theresa Ross singled up the middle to bring home Liz Murphy. However, Kayla Pellot also tried to score and was thrown out at the plate for the final out of the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth it was Haverhill’s chance to get “generous.” It was a harmless start with two unassisted putouts by first baseman Haley DeRoche. However, a couple of walks and Liz Murphy’s drop of a third-out infield popup and Newburyport’s Shannon Brunault crossed home with a run. Ashley Casellini’s infield single drove Taylor Summit home with another run.
Newburyport led 3-2 going into the bottom of the 5th. This was when Haverhill showed why it has lost twelve straight. Lack of defense. Three of the first four Clippers reached on errors. Two routine fly balls to center were dropped and later an infield popup was dropped at first. These miscues gave the Clippers two undeserved runs. Shannon Brunault singled another run in and later a fielder’s choice by Taylor Summit brought home a fourth run. All four runs were seriously unearned and put the Hillies down, 7-3.
The Clippers added three more in the sixth.
Except for the glitch on the infield popup in the third inning, the Newburyport defense was excellent especially against bunts. The Hillies bunted often but had little to show for it because of solid infield defense by the Clippers. Bobbles are infrequent and throws are usually strong and accurate.
Bad weather. You just can’t get enough of it this season. Cloudy and drizzly with a chance of serious rain at any moment. Ink on paper never holds up well under those conditions. My camera manual takes a dim view of dampness. Point? I lead the way to the exits when rain seems likely!
A game to look forward to is next Wednesday (May 25th) at Amesbury with Newburyport. Amesbury is cruising along undefeated but in an earlier meeting (at Newburyport) the Indians barely won (10-9). The Clippers had runners on 2nd and 3rd in the last inning with one out and couldn’t get either run in. The game should be worth seeing.
(I collect my own information and take my own pictures. Mistakes happen.)