(Newburyport MA) Newburyport caught two Pentucket runners at home in their, 7-4, win over Pentucket on Friday morning in Cape Ann League softball.
The Clippers (5-3) turned a five-walk second inning into five runs and held off the Sachems (4-3) the rest of the way thanks to clutch defensive plays and the pitching of Vicki Allman.
Pentucket was coming off a tough loss yesterday to North Andover as a 2-0 lead evaporated because of a 10-run sixth inning nightmare. Today’s loss may have been just as painful.
After Newburyport loaded the bases in the second inning with one out, PHS starter Carley Desjardins walked Morgan Johnston, Ashley Hodge, and Amy Sullivan to force across three runs. Coach John Walsh brought in sophomore Sarah Stewart and she walked Carley Siemasko to send in a 4th NHS run. The consecutive walks ended as Shelby O’Brien flied to right bringing Ashley Hodge in with the 5th Clippers’ tally.
The Sachems had the makings of a big inning in the 4th when third baseman Shelby O’Brien’s error was surrounded by two singles (Maddy Ammon & MK Corrado). After NHS pitcher Vicki Allman K’d Carley Desjardins, Sydney Snow’s grounder tallied Maddy Ammon with Pentucket’s first run. On Sydney’s grounder, second baseman Molly Kelley opted to try for a play at the plate but Maddy beat the throw. This left the bases still loaded with only one out. Here’s where Vicki Allman’s clutch pitching kicked in. She got Nikki O’Rourke to popup and K’d Jenny Nelson to limit the damage to one run.
The Sachems were right back threatening for more runs in the 5th inning. A bad throw by shortstop Meghan Stanton and an infield out put pinchrunner Amy McDonnell on third with one out. Newburyport first baseman Carley Siemasko followed with two huge defensive plays. Maddy Ammon hit a grounder to third that Shelby O’Brien fielded okay but her throw reached first on several hops. Huge play Number One: Carley scooped out the low throw to get the out at first. The runner at third (Amy McDonnell) opted to try for home. Huge play Number Two: Carley fired a strike home to catcher Lauren Singer to nab Amy on a very close play. The unfortunate bottom line for Pentucket was that they came away with no runs.
That wasn’t the case with Newburyport as they added two runs to their 5-1 lead in the bottom of that same fifth inning. Meghan Stanton singled and took second on a wild pitch. Vicki Stanton singled to left scoring Meghan and got all the way to third base when leftfielder Jenny Nelson bobbled the ball. Jade Carpenter ran for Vicki and raced home on Morgan Johnston’s infield grounder.
Now down 7-1 after five innings, the Sachems had their most productive inning of the game as they pushed three runs home. They could have had more…..but more on that later. Junior Tyler Feeney led off by crushing a ball over leftfielder Amy Sullivan’s head and quickly circling the bases for a homer.
Pentucket was then able to get MK Corrado (3 hits) and pinchrunner Corie Lucier to second and third with one out. Nikki O’Rourke followed with a hard-shot single to centerfield that scored two runs and went by centerfielder Ashley Hodge to the fence. Ashley quickly retrieved the ball as Nikki circled the bases. Ashley relayed to shortstop Meghan Stanton who threw a strike home to nab Nikki in a second close play at the plate. This was the second time in the game that Newburyport turned an error into an out at the plate. How often does that happen?
The Sachems threatened again in the seventh but came away empty. Maddie Binding led off with a triple over Ashley Hodge’s head in CF. With batters 2-3-4 coming up it wasn’t hard to envision a big inning. Vicki Allman, however, struck out both Kassidy Kennefick and Maddy Ammon looking and then got Tyler Feeney (home run in previous inning) to pop out to Carley Siemasko.
Clearly a tough defeat for Pentucket. They have been a 5-14 team the last two seasons but certainly look this time around to be much better than that. They surely need to be a little more patient on the bases!
Newburyport hit into a double play in the first. Sachems’ second baseman Maddy Ammon made a nice catch on an infield popup to short center and doubled baserunner Amy Sullivan off of first.
Both teams will be back in action on Monday at home. Pentucket hosts Lynnfield while Manchester-Essex comes to Cashman Park.
I saw at least one girl on the Pentucket side visibly upset as the game turned Newburyport’s way. I trust that someone will remind the young lady that no one person ever loses a team game.
I learned (indirectly) at today’s game that Vicki Allman will be attending Regis College (Weston MA) next year.
Weather? It went from sunny to cloudy but with little wind. I wonder if yesterday’s wind had an influence on the Pentucket/North Andover game.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)