Whittier gets 2-1 walk-off versus Essex Tech in D3 North First Round

Whittier coach Cheryl Begin celebrates the walk-off win with the Beauchesne sisters

Winning pitcher Nicole Verrette struck out nine and scattered four hits

(Haverhill MA) Whittier Tech defeated Essex Tech for the third time this season.

This time the score was 2-1 in a Division 3 North First Round game on a sunny/cloudy/drizzly Saturday afternoon at Whittier.

The ending was dramatic as Olivia Beauchesne’s two-out blast in the bottom of the seventh inning (over RF Hannah Lilly’s head) delivered teammate Kayle Hobbs from 3B with the game winner.

The Wildcats trailed 1-0 in the second inning as senior Anna Cloutman brought in freshman Hester Murphy with an RBI single that was nearly caught by WT rightfielder Eliza Slocum.

Whittier (19-2) tied things in the fourth inning.  Kaley Thibault walked to lead the inning off and later scored on Alyssa Wilson’s sharp single to CF.

I was impressed with both pitchers.  Whittier sophomore Nicole Verrette K’d nine Hawks and allowed four hits.  Four of the Hawks outs in the last two innings were strikeouts.  Essex Tech freshman Sheree Fallon struck out only two but limited WT to four hits.

CF Allison Vienneau makes a great catch for ET in the first inning

Several defensive gems by ET (14-8) kept them in the game against a team that already had 8-3 and 6-1 wins over them this season.  In the first inning, CF Allison Vienneau made a back-to-the-infield, catch deep in center field.  I’m guessing that the shot by Allison Beauchesne would have left a fenced-in outfield.  Hester Murphy had two sparklers at 3B.  Both were line drives.  The first one (in the 2nd inning) was turned into a double play.  The other one (in the 7th inning) was hit by Nicole Verrette.  Hester’s catch on that one was the second out of the inning.

Kayle Hobb’s base-running in the walk-off inning was very important.  After singling, Kayle went from first to third on a grounder to third.  That infield grounder by Kyleigh Campbell pulled in 3B Hester Murphy and Kayle saw the base uncovered as she rounded second.  Shortstop Emily Brown covered 3B but the throw from 1B Caitlyn O’Shea was high and Kayle was in safely.  The next batter (Nicole Verrette) whacked a line drive to 3B Hester Murphy and Kayle resisted the impulse to take off for home on contact.  It would have been an inning-ending double play if she had.  Next batter Olivia Beauchesne then delivered the long hit to right field to win the game.

Olivia Beauchesne’s game winner was hit a long way

I believe that Olivia’s hit to right would have left the fenced-in parks I’ve seen.

Essex Tech’s four hits came from junior Hannah Lilly (2), and one each from freshman Hester Murphy and senior Anna Cloutman.

Kayle Hobbs had two of WT’s hits.  Freshman Alyssa Wilson and senior Olivia Beauchesne had one each.

The solid pitching and sound defense made this a game that lasted just over an hour.  Good thing because the game no sooner ended when it started to drizzle.

Special thanks to Whittier AD Kevin Bradley for helping me get to the correct field.  I was unknowingly heading for the Whittier/Bishop Fenwick baseball game which started at the same time as the softball game.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.  Retweeting the coverage is greatly appreciated.)

Nicole Verrette

Whittier shortstop Kelleigh Greaney

Essex Tech CF Allison Vienneau

Hester Murphy steals second base

RF Eliza Slocum nearly catches Anna Cloutman’s sinking liner

Hester Murphy scores the Essex Tech run

Hannah Lilly makes a play in RF

3B Hester Murphy sets to throw to 1B

Kaley Thibault ties the game for Whittier in the 4th inning

IB Caitlyn O’Shea tosses to 1B

ET freshman pitcher Sheree Fallon allowed only four hits.

ET coach Jody Norton

ET catcher Allison Sholds

Kayle Hobbs gets to 3B on some very aggressive base-running

WT coach Cheryl Begin talks to Nicole Verrette in the 7th inning




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