(Amesbury) Perfect softball weather.
The softball played on Monday afternoon…not so perfect but Amesbury did come away with an 11-2 win over neighboring Newburyport.
AHS freshman Hailey Cantania kept nine Clippers off the base paths with strikeouts in her five innings of pitching. That was significant in a game where the defenses were nowhere near where they will be later in the season. Overthrows and bad decisions abounded for both sides on balls in play. The Indians (2-0) had fewer chances to deal with, however, thanks to Hailey’s pitching.
But this was early season action and with the weather around here who could even tell until recently that there were softball fields in the area. Practicing indoors in gymnasiums or outdoors in cold/windy weather won’t prepare a team for a season of softball. This was the opener for Newburyport and it showed.
Down 7-0, catcher Shelby O’Brien whacked a two-run homer or at least we thought she did. However, an appeal was made that base runner Morgan Johnston had failed to touch third. Goodbye, two runs!
Biggest hit in the game? Three-run blast by junior Emily Robinson of Amesbury to center in the sixth. The Clippers might have had a chance to get Emily at the plate but on this day the relay throw went to third instead of to home.
Several times for both teams potential double plays were lost because of throws to the wrong base or throws too high to the right base. I hope I’ve made my point……the defenses were shaky!
I also heard a retiring coach shouting to a second baseman to throw the ball to first (for a double play?) AFTER the second baseman had caught a popup for the third out of the last inning. It was that kind of game!
Molly Kelley had a good game at second for the Clippers.
Helmets? Glad Sam Stone had one on when catcher Shelby O’Brien’s throw from home struck that helmet as Sam slid back into first base. The ball ended up caroming out of play.
Masks? As a photographer I would prefer that the players didn’t wear masks in the field. However as a parent/grandparent I am uncomfortable seeing infielders not wearing masks. Way too dangerous, in my opinion. One line drive up the middle nearly got AHS pitcher Hayley Catania who wasn’t wearing a mask. Has no one figured out that a batted softball off a metal bat could cause a serious injury?
The weather was a great treat. Temps close to 70 with plenty of sun.
I enjoyed being back with players and coaches of both teams. I have been around both teams long enough to know who is new this year and who is missing. Good folks on both sides.
My current schedule (working part-time at Pickwick Driving School Tuesday-Friday) will keep me from doing many games this season. I regret it but some things have to be.
I was pleased to see that Dan Harrison, formerly of the Salem News, is now part the the Newburyport Daily News staff. He is a good writer and the coverage of the area spring sports should be significantly upgraded as a result.
(The pictures above and below will enlarge significantly if you click on them.)