(Newburyport MA) That’s nine straight for the 2015 edition of Amesbury Indians softball.
Coach Chris Perry’s team hasn’t lost since June 8th of 2014 when they were defeated by St. Mary’s (Lynn) 8-5 in the Division 3 North title game at Lowell.
In Monday afternoon’s 5-2 win over Newburyport, the Indians again had strong pitching by Hayley Catania. The freshman took a no-hitter into the final inning and allowed only two walks.
Minus the quality start the Indians might have lost this game because their infield defense (six errors) and faulty base running (ran into three outs) kept the Clippers (3-5) just a big hit or two from the upset.
Good teams find ways to win, however. Newburyport starter Stephanie Gleason allowed only four walks in six innings of pitching but three of them came in Amesbury’s 3-run fourth inning. Two of the walkers would cross the plate. Big hit? Megan Reid’s two-out double to right in that productive inning brought in two runs (Emily Robinson & Sam Stone).
The Clippers got a run back in the bottom of the fourth. An infield dribbler by Stephanie Gleason tallied teammate Shelby O’Brien from third.
Amesbury built on their 3-1 lead with a unearned score in the sixth. Zoe Fitzgerald singled, reached second on a wild pitch, and came home on Hayley Cantania’s two-out grounder got past shortstop Morgan Johnston.
Newburyport picked up an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth as Jade Carpenter reached on one error (Maddie Napoli) and scored on another (catcher Caity Baker).
The Insurance Man arrived in the Amesbury seventh. A two-out, three-base throwing error by 3B Carley Siemasko enabled Meagan Aponas to reach third. Autumn Kligerman’s single to left delivered Amesbury’s fifth run.
The big deal, at least in my head, was whether or not Hayley Cantania could get a no-hitter. It didn’t seem to matter to anyone else, however. Regardless of the lack of interest, Paige Gouldthorpe started the last of the 7th with a line drive to right. Megan Reid charged it but it bounced in front of her and then away from her to give the Clippers their first (and only) hit.
Hayley Catania reached base all three times – single, walk, and error.
Zoe Fitzgerald scored two runs.
Paige Gouldthorpe made several terrific plays in left field for Newburyport.
Molly Kelley pitched in the 7th for the Clippers.
With the win, Amesbury sweeps the season’s series with Newburyport. Last year Newburyport won both meetings.
Weather? It was shockingly nice! Temps in the 80’s with a nice breeze is about as good as it gets in these parts.
Next game for Newburyport is at Ipswich on Wednesday. On the same day Amesbury will host a pretty good Pentucket team.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)