Monthly Archives: May 2018

Amesbury rallies past Manchester-Essex 5-2 on Senior Day

Senior Hayley Catania pitched a 3-hitter with 7 strikeouts

3B Molly Field sets to throw to first

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury took advantage of some shaky Manchester-Essex defense and defeated the Hornets, 5-2, on a sunny Wednesday afternoon.

“We took advantage of mistakes,” said Amesbury coach Jacquie Waters afterwards. “Their pitcher (Sydney Levasseur) was very good.”

Three Indians reached on errors and all three would score.

Today the Amesbury seniors (Haley Catania, Caitlin Conrad, Hannaih Burdick) were honored.

Haley celebrated in her own way pitching a 3-hitter and striking out seven Hornets.

Bella Graves tripled and scored a run in the second inning

Hannaih had two of the Indians five hits and drove in a run.

ME coach Frank Sarro was named Coach-of-the-year in the Cape Ann League last night.  Qualifying for the post-season was big news at Manchester-Essex.  I asked Frank when they had last qualified and he guessed it was 16-20 years ago.  Then I asked him when was the last time ME had defeated Amesbury.  He wasn’t sure that they ever had. That streak is at least thirteen, according to Mascores, going back to the 2011 season.

But today the Hornets had their chances.  This game went into the sixth inning with Amesbury holding on to a very slim 3-2 lead.  “The way the game was going was making me nervous,” recalled Coach Waters.

In the Manchester-Essex 6th, Hayley Catania struck out Taylor Reader but then walked Molly Field and Kristen Harding.  When the UMass (Boston) commit fell behind Sydney Levasseur 3-0 that one-run lead looked to be in serious jeopardy.  But back came Hayley to throw strikes and get Sydney swinging.  “That was a good comeback after going down in the count,” said Hayley afterwards.  Shortstop Emma DiPietro’s strong throw to first finished the inning and the Indians one-run lead was still standing.

Maddie DiPietro crosses home in the Amesbury sixth

In the seventh inning, two ME errors allowed the Indians to pad their lead by two runs and Hayley set down the Hornets 1-2-3 in their last at-bats to preserve the W.

Manchester-Essex took the lead in the second inning after Bella Graves’ triple to right center was followed by Michaela Edelstein’s bloop single to right field.

Amesbury tied it up in the third.  Hayley Catania singled to left and took second when Ella De Gaspe Beaubien bobbled the ball.  Hannaih Burdick’s single between third and short scored Hayley.

In the Manchester-Essex fourth, they took advantage of an Amesbury drop (2B Abby Aponas) to retake the lead.  Molly Field reached on the error and later would cross home on a fielder’s choice by Bella Graves.  Amesbury shortstop Emma Dipietro ended the Hornets scoring by assisting on the final out on a ball to deep short with a runner on third.

Amesbury pulled ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning.  Meg McElaney walked, stole second and scored on SS Kristen Hardy’s 2-base throwing error.  Karleigh Walker, who reached second on the error, took third on a wild pitch and home on a passed ball.

Hayley Catania gets the assist on the final out of the game

The Indians created a 3-run cushion in the sixth.  Emma Catania reached on Molly Field’s 2-base throwing error and later pinchrunner Maddie DiPietro scored when 1B Michaela Edelstein, looking into a tough sun, couldn’t come up with Lauren Hale’s high chopper. Later in the inning, Abby Aponas scored on a wild pitch.

As you can see, ME was in this game but just didn’t play tight enough defense to end a “forever” streak against Amesbury.

“He (Frank Sarro) has done a nice coaching job with them,” said Coach Waters.

The D3 Hornets finish the regular season with a 10-10 record.  Coach Sarro credited the team’s senior leadership (Kristen Harding, Taylor Reader) for making it possible.

“I thought that we kind of got caught up in the festivities of today, but Hayley came through again for us,” explained Coach Waters.

The AHS coach was pleased with her team’s comeback after being down 2-1 in the 4th.  “We haven’t done that enough this year.”

Emma DiPietro steals second base

Amesbury (12-7) has Concord-Carlisle tomorrow (Thursday) away before the tourney pairing come out on June 5th.  No home tournament game for the Indians this time around.

That made today’s game the last one for Hayley on the home field.  “I have lots of memories from playing here,” she said.  Biggest one?  “It probably was my freshman year when we beat North Reading in the bottom of the 7th inning.”  The NR Hornets have a 50-game win streak still going against Cape Ann League teams during the regular season.  That streak goes back into Hayley’s freshman year.

I asked her about her pitching today: “My fastball and my drop curve were working but not my rise.”

There were many foul balls to the right side today.  A testimony to the speed of both pitchers.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Kaylin Franceour

Catcher Claire Gendron eyes a foul pop

Karleigh Walker scores on a passed ball

Meg McElaney steals second

Michaela Edelstein

2B Bella Graves flips to first

Emma DiPietro made all the plays at shortstop today

Hannaih Burdick and 3B Molly Field

Abby Aponas

Hornets outfielders – Ella De Gaspe Beaubien, Taylor Reader, Sophia Pomeroy

Steal attempt by Molly Field in the first inning

Hayley, Caitlin, Hannaih

Hayley Catania

Hannaih Burdick

Caitlin Conrad

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Senior Paige Gouldthorpe shuts down Masco 12-0 on Senior’s Day

Pitcher Paige Gouldthorpe tossed to 1B Courtney Walsh five times in this game

The Clippers had baserunners all afternoon

(Newburyport MA) Newburyport pitcher Paige Gouldthorpe made her last appearance at Pioneer Park a good one.

The Clippers (11-7) took Masco out, 12-0, via the mercy rule in the sixth inning on a sunny Tuesday afternoon at Pioneer Park.

“Paige looked good on the mound, which was key to this win,” said NHS coach Bob Gillespie afterwards.

Paige registered eight strikeouts, walked none, and gave up only four singles.

Masco (5-14) was their own worst enemy in this one yielding thirteen walks and committing three errors during the game.

Surprisingly, Newburyport did not have a huge inning, although they were rolling in that direction in the sixth inning with four runs and counting as the game was called.

Liv Salvatore had five RBI including a bases-clearing double in the 2nd inning

Junior Liv Salvatore was the hitting star for the home team driving across five teammates.  Her bases-loaded double cleared the bases and gave Newburyport a 5-0 lead in the second.

Masco coach Frank Kowalski used three pitchers (Alex Locke, Olivia Molloy, and Liv Filmore) during the game.

The Clippers started their half of the first with four straight baserunners.  Meg Winn reached on an error (3B Vanessa Hurley) and the others were walked.  A run was forced in and a quick pitching change happened.

Olivia Molloy came on in relief and got three groundouts and the Clippers were held to a two-run inning.

An error by 3B Vanessa Hurley extended the second inning, loading the bases.  This was when Liv Salvatore drove home three unearned runs with a double.

Meanwhile, Paige Gouldthorpe was throwing hard with good control.  The senior scattered four hits and handled five grounders.  Masco had only one fly ball out in the game.

The Chieftains brought on Liv Filmore in the 5th inning and the Clippers batted around.  Three walks and three hits (Paige Gouldthorpe, Annie Siemasko, Callie Caponigro) led to three runs. The inning ended with the bases filled with Clippers.

The Clippers combined one hit with four walks and a Chieftain error in the 6th inning to get the four runs needed to end this game early.

Annie Siemasko reached base five times

Both Liv Salvatore and Annie Siemasko reached base all five times they batted.  Both had two hits.

Sophia Cicilla, Gabby McSweeney, Brianna Mellilo, and Sheila Caputo had the hits for Masco.

Callie Caponigro came off the Newburyport bench to get two hits and drive in two runs.

Paige Gouldthorpe on the game: “That’s two shutouts in a row for us.  It’s a confidence builder going into the tournament.”

Paige on Pioneer Park: “I started learning the game here.  I was in 3rd or 4th grade.  This is the mound where I started pitching from.  There are good memories here for me.”

It was Senior’s Day and I thought I would get recognized but instead they honored Paige, Courtney Walsh, and Sarah Linehan.

Masco senior Gabby McSweeney

In a nice gesture, the Clippers recognized the seniors on the Masco team before the game.  Paige sang the National Anthem.

Clippers coach Bob Gillespie: “We needed this one to get ready for the playoffs next week.  We hit the ball, played good defense and Paige was on her game.”

Newburyport had eight days off before today’s game and may have that many days off again before the tournament starts.  “Maybe we’ll get in an alumni scrimmage before the tournament,” said Coach Gillespie.

Good crowd on hand.  I suspect that many of them were connected to the NHS seniors.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Lily Andrews

Double play

Mikayla Vincent

3B Vanessa Hurley chases a grounder

Paige Gouldthorpe slides into 2B as shortstop Gabby McSweeney takes the throw

Paige Gouldthorpe pitches

Third base coach Bob Gillespie sends Maddie Duford home

Trouble in the Masco infield

Courtney Walsh looks at a pitch from Liv Filmore

Callie Caponigro (11) off of 2B after driving in two runs

Seniors Paige Gouldthorpe, Courtney Walsh, and Sarah Linehan

 

 

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Newburyport wins Spofford Tournament 2-1 over Georgetown

Brendan Willis tags Tommy Greene on the leg during a rundown.

(Georgetown MA) The Newburyport Clippers won the Bert Spofford Tournament, 2-1, over Georgetown on Sunday afternoon.

The tourney win was important but the way the Clippers reacted to the victory was also about post-season dreams being kept alive for yet another day.

The Clippers were 3-10 on May 10th with zero margin of error left for the remaining seven games. Remarkably, they have won six straight since then including an unlikely one today.

Kyle Greenler

Casey McLaren

Why unlikely today?  The Royals (11-7) started D1 commit Kyle Greenler on the mound.  Kyle throws hard, throws strikes, and is good enough that Elon University (North Carolina) gave him a scholarship to pitch for them next year.

How did the Clippers win?  The Clippers had junior Casey McLaren pitching for them.

Kyle and Casey dominated batters all game long.

“It was great to have a championship game with two of the top pitchers in the Cape Ann League going,” said NHS coach Mark Rowe afterwards.  “We tip our hat to Kyle (Greenler).  He did a great job as did Casey for us.”

Kyle recorded thirteen strikeouts (seven of them looking) while Casey had eleven.  Georgetown had six hits while Newburyport had five hits.

Kyle told me after the game, “It was two good teams and one did better than the other.  Between Casey and I we probably had 20+ strikeouts.  All respect to Casey.  He’s pretty good.”

Junior Tommy Murphy drove in both Newburyport runs.

Junior Tommy Murphy was the hitting star for Newburyport driving in both runs with two singles.  Sophomore Tim Chianca knocked in the Royals run.

The visitors tallied their first run in the second inning.  “We made a mistake early and they took advantage of it,” recalled Georgetown coach Phil Desilets.

That early mistake was a bad throw to first by catcher Tim Chianca on a drop after a strikeout.  That error put Tommy Greene on second base and he would score from there on a 2-out bloop single by Tommy Murphy.

The Clippers added to their lead in the fourth inning.  A walk (Casey McLaren), a single (Tommy Greene) and a sacrifice bunt (Parker McLaren) put two runners in scoring position with one out.

3B Tommy Long started a rundown that led to an out

After Kyle Greenler K’d Kyle Therrien, Tommy Murphy faced the Royals ace with two out and two on. Tommy hit a grounder to deep short (Brendan Willis) and Tommy, sliding head first into first, beat the cross-diamond throw allowing Casey McLaren to score NHS’s second run.  The play continued as 1B Ethan Block caught Tommy Greene off third and Tommy was eventually tagged out on the leg in a rundown by Brendan Willis to end the inning.  Newburyport, however, now had a 2-0 lead.

Georgetown got one of those runs back in their half of the 4th.  Brendan Willis (CAL All-Star last year) singled, took second on a fielder’s choice, and third on a wild pitch with one out.  Tim Chianca’s single to left brought home Brendan.

Things got very tense during Georgetown’s last at-bats.  After a strikeout (Justin Ziolkowski), Jake Adamsky and Cam Martin singled.  But Casey McLaren dashed any late-game Royals’ heroics by getting Max Girouard looking and a groundout (4-3) to end it.

“It’s tough to lose because this tournament means a lot to us,” said Coach Desilets. “However, we have to turn the page because we’ve got bigger things ahead.”  The Royals have games left with Swampscott and Masco before they start in the D4 tournament.

2B Jack Doyle sets to record the final assist of the game

An improved defense was a key to the win according to Coach Rowe: “We made the plays we needed to bail us out of jams.  That hasn’t always been the case this year.  When we play good defense we usually have good results.”

The Clippers (9-10) will need to win next Saturday (at Essex Tech) to continue their season beyond twenty games.  One certainty is that Casey McLaren will be doing the pitching for Newburyport.

Scariest moment of the game?  In the Georgetown 4th inning, right fielder Walker Bartkiewicz, chasing a foul ball, ran through a fence and totally disappeared from view. You suspected the worst when several Georgetown coaches joined Newburyport players and coaches rushing over to see where Walker was and if he was okay.  Fortunately, out came his glove and he followed shortly, apparently unharmed.

Pitcher Kyle Greenler turns a suicide squeeze bunt into a double play

The Clippers had two runners in scoring position with one out in the sixth inning.  Pinch hitter Ken Hodge then tried to execute a suicide squeeze bunt but got under it a little and pitcher Kyle Greenler snagged it and turned a double play.

The pitching was impressive.  Both could throw heat for strikes and batters had to be set for it.  Both also had sharp breaking stuff and most of the caught-looking’s were on that type of pitch.

The weather turned back to early April all over again.  You wonder why New Englanders have so many clothes in their closets?  We have to be prepared for all seasons year round!  Yesterday 80’s.  Today 50’s!

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Clippers celebrate their 9th win of the season

Newburyport team with the Spofford Tournament trophy

Pitcher Casey McLaren returns with the MVP award

The run to celebrate as the game ends

Ty Koglin

LF Justin Ziolkowski tracks down a fly ball.

2B Colin Nally takes in a high throw as Ty Koglin steals second

Infield hit

Georgetown crowd

 

 

 

 

 

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Triton scores twice in last inning to edge Manchester-Essex 12-11

Ryan O’Connell heads for third as SS Tommy Lapham and 3B Marc Wood chase a grounder

Robbie Sarmanian rounds third after a first-inning homer

(Byfield MA) There were so many baserunners in this game that at least twice they had to delay the game while the bases themselves were repaired!

Not really, although two of the bases needed help.

Triton rallied for two runs in their last at-bats to overtake Manchester-Essex, 12-11, on a sunny/breezy Thursday afternoon of Cape Ann League baseball.

This game radically changed complexions three different times.  “You talk about highs and lows,” said Triton coach Ryan McCarthy afterwards.

The Vikings (11-6) were down 3-0 after three Hornets (12-6) had batted.  However, by the end of the fifth inning Triton led “comfortably” 9-3.  The next three outs saw thirteen Hornets bat and unleash an 8-run inning that pushed them ahead 11-9 after six innings.  The Vikings got a run back in the bottom of the 6th to get within one and then grabbed the W in the final inning.

Kyle Odoy homered in the Triton 5th

“You can see that we can swing the bats,” said ME coach BJ Weed reflecting on his team’s eleven runs, which included two homers.  “Our problems all year have been defensive miscues and pitching.”

ME’s Mitch Paccone (2B) threw past second in the 3rd inning allowing two runs to score.  In the final inning a bad throw to first set up, in scoring position, the tying run and the winning run.

The Triton defense had its problems too.  Errors by 1B Kyle Odoy and SS Tommy Lapham enabled the Hornets to get some extra at-bats during their eight-run sixth inning.

Vikings starter Tommy Lapham was victimized by Robbie Sarmanian’s 3-run shot in the first.  “He’s a very good player,” said Tommy afterwards.  “I told myself after the homer to keep going.  It’s a long game.”

Tommy Lapham reached base five times and scored three runs

Tommy did settle down allowing just three hits into the sixth inning.  Meanwhile, after a scoreless first inning, the Vikings began to put on runners and put up runs.

The Hornets used five different pitchers (Dylan Wilson, Will Janowicz, Casey Fackre, Gavin Glass, and Cosmo Pallazola) during the game. None of them pitched longer that two innings. “We’ve got injuries and we’re trying to find out what we will have for pitching in the playoffs,” said Coach Weed.

The ME pitching struggled during innings 2-5.  In the second, two hit batsmen started a one-run inning.  In the third, an error paved the way for four runs.  In the fourth, a wild pitch scored one of Triton’s two runs.  And then there was freshman Kyle Odoy’s homer in the Vikings’ two-run fifth inning.  It looked all downhill for the visitors after five innings down 9-3.

“Manchester-Essex stuck around, and fought, and then went up,” recalled Coach McCarthy.

You wouldn’t have guessed that it would happen after watching five innings of this game.

“We’re a really good hitting team so I knew that we weren’t entirely out of it when we were down 9-3,” said Coach Weed.  And right he was.

Bennett O’Leary (10) homered to left starting the 8-run Hornets sixth inning

The Hornets started that productive sixth inning with a Bennett O’Leary homer.  Then ME put three singles and a walk together for another run.  Out went Tommy Lapham and in came Mark Glickman.  Two errors, two hits, and another walk and the Hornets caught the lead.  Cosmo Pallazola’s sacrifice fly padded the lead to two runs heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.

More pitching problems developed for ME.  Gavin Glass gave up a single to Tyler Godfrey.  Max McKenzie was the pinchrunner.  Max took second on one wild pitch and third on another.  Ross Lojek’s fielder’s choice brought Max across to make this a one-run game.

After a 1-2-3 top of the 7th, the Hornets brought on Cosmo Pallazola to attempt to hold onto that one-run lead.  A single, an infield error, and a sacrifice fly (Cam Gilroy) tied the score.  With Marc Wood (reached on the error) on second the Hornets intentionally walked Tommy Lapham.  A wild pitch moved the runners to 2B and 3B.  Another intentional walk loaded the bases with one out.  Another wild pitch brought Marc Wood home with the winning run.

Ross Lojek drove in three runs and scored two

Plenty of hits.  Triton had twelve including two doubles and a single from Tommy Lapham.  ME collected ten hits including two each from Robbie Sarmanian, Cosmo Pallazola, and Will Janowicz.

Ross Lojek had three RBI for the winners.

Kyle Odoy (1B), Dylan Shute (2B) and Cole Lojek (RF) had solid defensive plays in the first three innings.

Shortstop Tommy Lapham showed good range to get to a ball in the 7th inning and a strong arm to toss out the runner.

The Hornets have now lost four straight to Triton.

The Hornets were 19-4 last season reaching the Division 4 North finals.

The Hornets hadn’t lost in three weeks until today when their 8-game streak ended.  “I would rather lose now than in the playoffs,” said Coach Weed. “We’ve got some work to do.”

The Vikings had lost 3-of-4 before today’s win.  “We’ve been down lately,” said Coach McCarthy.  “We needed this one and we fought back to get it.”

“Mark Glickman came into a tight situation in relief and did a great job,” said Coach McCarthy.

Sunny day with the wind definitely blowing toward left.  Three homers (Robbie Sarmanian, Bennett O’Leary, and Kyle Odoy) went that way.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Tommy Lapham jumps over 3B Marc Wood charging a grounder

Senior Marc Wood (4) mobbed after scoring the winning run

Kyle Odoy scores to tie the game in the 7th

Mitch Paccone ties the score at nine in the 6th inning

Dylan Shute avoids the tag of Cosmo Pallazola

2B Mitch Paccone in the middle of a 6-4-3 double play

Robbie Sarmanian greeted at home after a 3-run blast

Dylan Shute retrieves an infield bobble

Sophomore Mark Glickman was the winning pitcher

Cole Lojek out stealing

Ball drops in short right among three Hornets

Tommy Lapham and Bennett O’Leary

Finding the handle

 

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Amesbury knocked from tourney in tough 4-3 loss to Whittier

Junior shortstop Josh O’Brien handles the final chance during Whittier’s 4-3 win over Amesbury

Jon LaVerde scores the first Amesbury run

(Amesbury MA) In a season of painful losses, one more was added to Amesbury’s list as they were edged by Whittier, 4-3, on a sunny Wednesday afternoon.

“We needed to win today to keep our season alive,” said AHS coach Joel Brierley afterwards.  “That’s why this one hurts more than the others.”

Whittier coach Joe Boland was glad to escape with a W.  “It was close all day long and either team could have won it.”

The Wildcats (13-2) trailed, 3-2, after four innings but scratched out runs in the 5th and then the 7th to take home a victory.

Junior Josh O’Brien’s single to right in the seventh delivered Kyle Eddy with the eventual game winner.

Reliever Matt Michel escaped Amesbury scoring threats in the final two innings.

Key performer for Whittier was reliever Matt Michel.  The Wildcats junior was brought into a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the sixth.  He responded by getting a strike out (Derek Doherty) and a fly out (Jon LaVerde).

“We had them on the ropes with the bases loaded (in the 6th inning) and I thought with all the things that had happened to us we were finally going to catch a break, but it didn’t happen,” explained Coach Brierley.

The Indians (6-11) had Blake Bennett on second with one out in the final inning but again Matt Michel found a way out.  He induced infield outs from Derek Beaupre and Tucker Molin.

Shortstop Josh O’Brien handled the final chance.  He also had the big hit in the top of the seventh.  “Josh is our best hitter,” reported Coach Boland.

Amesbury starter Blake Bennett allowed only one hit (Matt Michel) in six innings of pitching but had seven walks.  Three of those walks turned into runs.

The Wildcats scored two runs in the opening frame off of three walks and two wild pitches.

Blake Bennett

“Blake hadn’t pitched for two weeks,” said Coach Brierley.  “He was rusty.”

What kept this game close was that Blake could not only pitch his way into trouble, he could also pitch his way out of it.  He had seven strikeouts.

The most painful run for the Indians was probably in the fifth when the visitors tied the score.  In that frame Blake had Will Carpenter struck out but catcher Derek Beaupre couldn’t handle the pitch.  Will reached first and Kevin Eddy scored.  In a low-scoring game those plays are crucial to the outcome.

The Wildcats ran into two outs on the bases.  In the Whittier 5th, John Schwartz left too early from third on a fly ball. In the final inning, Brock Roy attempted to score from second on Josh O’Brien’s hit, but Blake Bennett’s relay nailed him at home.

Whittier coach Joe Boland

“Amesbury made a great play to get that second runner,” said Coach Boland.

Blake, Logan Burrill, and Tom Flanagan had RBIs for the Indians.  Logan Burrill had three hits.

In the bottom of the 7th Logan nearly tied the game with a fly to deep center.  “Twenty feet to the left and that’s a homer,” recalled Coach Brierley.

Freshman Jon LaVerde scored two runs for AHS while sophomore Tucker Molin scored the other one.

Leadoff batter Kyle Eddy and second batter Brock Roy totaled six walks between them.  Kyle scored three times and Brock once.

Logan Burrill (3 hits) safe at second after a steal

Coach Boland on Matt Michel: “He is a heck of a competitor and loves to pitch.  He doesn’t walk many batters, so I trusted him in the bases loaded situation he came into.”

Coach Boland, in his 24th season with Whittier, recorded his 300th win in April.  “I have great respect for Coach Boland,” said Coach Brierley.  “He has over 300 wins. He has created a good culture at Whittier and they find ways to win the close ones.”

Whittier starter Will Carpenter came into today’s game with a 13-0 record as a starter.  That win streak was in serious jeopardy in a 3-3 game that he left in the sixth inning with the bases loaded.  Matt Michel, however, came on to save the day for Will’s streak.

The Division two Wildcats have won thirteen of their last fourteen games.  They are 9-1 in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference.

Despite missing the tournament, Coach Brierley found room for optimism. “We have shown signs of life and that we can play.  The six wins doubles what this team had last season.  We lose only one guy from this year’s team.”

The weather was terrific.  The bugs that usually are on hand were apparently feeding elsewhere.

It was surely a first for me: Coach Boland introduced me to the team after the game and I was applauded for covering the game.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Catcher Derek Beaupre tags out Brock Roy at the plate

2B Derek Doherty

Freshman Tim Gilleo

2B Michael Cordeiro

Whittier starter Will Carpenter

3B Aidan Shea

Josh O’Brien

Shortstop Josh O’Brien throws on the run

Shortstop Jon LaVerde corrals a popup

Throw to first

Kyle Eddy steals second

Kyle Eddy scored three times

Juniors Josh O’Brien and Logan Burrill

Senior Graham Gannett

 

 

 

 

 

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North Reading cools off Triton 5-2 to remain undefeated

Grace McGonagle tagged out at home by Tara Driver after a great throw from RF Guiliana Peppe.

Winning pitcher Cassie Pascucci struck out seven Vikings

(Byfield MA) Not so fast, Triton!

North Reading was the opponent today riding an undefeated season and a win in April against Triton.

The Hornets (16-0) re-asserted themselves as the best team in the Cape Ann League defeating the Vikings, 5-2, on a sunny Monday afternoon.  Triton had won twelve straight games.

Using Mascores as my source, I figured out that NR has now won fifty straight CAL softball games.  Last loss?  May 18,2015 (5-4) to Pentucket.

North Reading defeated Triton 6-2 earlier this season and catcher Tara Driver launched three homers in that one.

This time around Triton was not going to let that happen.  In all four at-bats, Tara was intentionally walked.

Tara Driver was intentionally walked four times. She will play at D1 Niagara next year.

But we learned today that there’s more to the success of the Hornets than Tara Driver (commit to D1 Niagara).

“We took advantage of the little things,” explained Coach Michelle Morales. “Cassandra did a great job pitching.  She got the outs when she needed them, and she pitched around their bigger hitters.”

Triton coach Dave Dupere narrowed the loss to timely hitting, “They got a couple of timely hits and we didn’t.”

The Vikings (15-2) picked up single runs in the last two innings but stranded eight baserunners in the first five innings.

The visitors took the lead in the third inning when junior Cassie Pascucci doubled in Jess Ferrazzani from second.

The home team looked to have the equalizer in their half of the 3rd but a terrific throw by RF Guiliana Peppe nailed Grace McGonagle at the plate.

This game got away from Triton in the NR fourth inning.  The Hornets put together three runs and I wish that there was instant replay of that inning so that I could be sure that I have what happened right!  North Reading loaded the bases (singles Julia Howse & Abby Paine, walk Christina Simblaris) with no one out.  Then the “what happened” part kicked in.  Shortstop Bridget Sheehan fielded a grounder and tagged out a runner.  No run scored, and the bases stayed loaded.

2B Emily Karvielis then made a wild throw to first scoring two runs.  The play wasn’t over, however.  Jess Ferrazzani got into a rundown between third and home and scored.  The play still isn’t over.  Courtney Luker also got into a rundown between third and home and pitcher Katherine Quigley tagged her out at third.

Shortstop Bridget Sheehan in the middle of a 4-6-3 double play

“I told my assistant coach that it was one of those wacky plays that can happen in girls’ softball,” said Coach Dupere.  “It was weird and unfortunate for us.”

Triton broke into that 4-0 deficit with a run in the sixth inning.  It was another inning that instant replay would have been appreciated.

Colleen McCarthy and Liv Doane started the inning with hits.  Dani West moved them up with a fielder’s choice.  Eve Paicos hit a grounder to SS Julia Howse.  Julia tagged the runner near her and threw widly home, allowing Colleen to score.  Catcher Tara Driver found the bad throw and picked Eve Paicos off first base.  The potential for more than one run was wasted.

NR padded their lead to 5-1 in the top of the seventh.  Pinchrunner Elinor DeCleene was driven home by freshman Julie Howse.  This was the only time that intentionally walking Tara Driver hurt the Vikings.

Fay Paicos turns for home in the 7th inning

Another wasted big-inning chance in the Triton 7th.  The Vikings had a run in on CF Abby Paine’s drop of Zoe Cesati’s deep fly to center with only one out.  But Cassie Pascucci K’d Bridget Sheehan looking and got Emily Karvielis to ground out to end the threat and the game.

The Vikings had only two runs in their first meeting with NR.  Both Triton runs today were unearned.

Wasted chances for Triton not only involved hitting but also baserunning.

Coach Dupere: “That team (North Reading) is undefeated for a reason.  They’re a good team but we only lost 5-2. I would love to play them one more time because I think that we could beat them.  I am proud of our girls.  From where they were three years ago to now, I couldn’t be happier.”

Coach Morales: “Tara (Driver) has been walked a lot.  In the past Tara has swung at bad pitches but I told her today to take the walks.  I told her to look south for a college to play for because of the warm weather.”

No strikes for Tara Driver today

Tara Driver: “I’m not bothered that they walk me.  It shows respect.  Sometimes it’s frustrating when we’re not hitting, and they won’t pitch to me.”

Carisa Boyle ready to run

Tara on winning pitcher Cassie Pascucci: “She is very consistent.  Her changeup was good today and she threw a lot of curves.”

Bridget Sheehan: “North Reading is a good team.  They outplayed us today.”

The Vikings have a game left with struggling Hamilton-Wenham.  NR has four non-league games to play.

Both Triton and the Hornets are in Division Two so Coach Dupere’s wish to face them again could come true.  The Vikings have set themselves up for at least one home game in the postseason.

The weather was wonderful.  There may have been a few sunburns handed out!

(All of the pictures will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Liv Doane finds a popup

Coach Michelle Morales sends Jess Ferrazzani home

Cassie Pascucci doubled in the first NR run

North Reading outfield – Abby Paine, Guiliana Peppe, Jess Ferrazzani

Zoe Cesati eyes a pitch from Cassie Pascucci

Abby Paine attempts a bunt

Triton support along the fence

Colleen McCarthy slides home safely as Tara Driver chases a bad throw

Cassie Pascucci

Zoe Cesati reached base four times

 

 

 

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Newburyport reaches tourney with 10-1 win over nonleague Northeast Metro

Paige Gouldthorpe fired a 2-hitter and K’d eight Knights in a tournament-qualifying win over Northeast Metro

Annie Siemasko (7) lands on home plate after a third-inning homer

The Clippers stayed away from slugger Kayleigh Brammer

(Newburyport MA) It was the way life should be for the Newburport softball team.

“We kept it together the whole game,” said NHS coach Bob Gillespie after the Clippers had defeated non-league Northeast Metro, 10-1, on a cold Friday afternoon on Pepe Field.

The win gave the Division Two home team their ninth win and a berth in the post-season with two games remaining.

Junior Annie Siemasko said afterwards, “I am so excited about making the tournament.  It’s the first time for me.  We’ve been close before but now we’ve finally made it.”

Northeast Metro coach Bruce Rich and his team were dazzled by Clippers’ starter Paige Gouldthorpe.  The NHS senior tossed a 2-hitter and struck out eight Knights.  “Their pitcher was outstanding.  She’s about as fast as we’ve seen.  She had great location and mixed speeds well.”

Liv Salvatore (13) beats the tag attempt of Tae Scott

“I was able to throw strikes today and get them to hit,” said Paige post-game.

On this successful day, the Clippers (9-7) stayed away from error-driven innings in the field.  Newburyport survived a drop in the 7th (Annie Siemasko) and a collision in the outfield in the 4th.  Northeast Metro wasn’t as fortunate.

Two walks and two errors set up the Clippers for three runs in the first.  Both walkers (Paige Gouldthorpe, Courtney Walsh) and Annie Siemasko (who reached on shortstop Tae Scott’s error) came across.  Freshman Cali Caponigro drove a run in during the NHS good start.

A key to the win was the way Newburyport kept the Knight’s junior slugger Kayleigh Brammer from hurting them.  Kayleigh already has ten home runs this season.  The way Paige was mowing her teammates down, Kayleigh batted only three times and was walked twice.  The third time Paige got her to ground out.

Costly Knights’ error in Newburyport’s six-run 4th inning

“We kept her (Kayleigh Brammer) off the bases,” said Coach Gillespie.  “She has the ability to play at the next level.”

Annie Siemasko launched a home run to right center in the 3rd to boost the NHS advantage to 4-0.

The Knights (10-5) answered with a run.  Kayleigh Brammer walked and alertly reached third on Kat Zeylaya’s bunt when no one covered third.  Catcher Sarah Linehan’s wild throw to second allowed Kayleigh to score. Paige handled the two-on, two-out situation by striking out Joanna Agostini to limit the damage to one run.

The Clippers fourth was when they expanded their 4-1 lead and gained game-deciding separation from the visitors from Wakefield.

Cali Caponigro (11) drives in a run

Newburyport had tallied only two runs and had two outs in the 4th inning but the inning got extended when pitcher Julia Carrillo couldn’t handle Courtney Walsh’s grounder.  The Clippers would tack on four unearned runs after the miscue. Again, walks played a part.  There were four NHS walks and three scored.

The 10-1 lead carried the rest of the way.  The Knights did get two on in the 7th but a baserunning blunder ruined a promising two-on, no-out’s situation and no inroads were made into the Clippers lead.

Annie Siemasko paced Newburyport with three RBI and scored three runs.  Cali Caponigro drove in two Clippers with two hits.  Mikayla Vincent had two hits and an RBI.

Paige walked three.  Two were semi-intentionals to Kayleigh Brammer.  The Keene State commit handled five chances flawlessly.

Brooke Rogers tagged out at home by Sofie Wyzanski

Northeast Metro (Division Three) is in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference with teams such as Whittier.  The Knights had won three of their last four games before the loss today.

It was a cold afternoon in the shade and not too bad in the sun.

I am always looking to expand my vocabulary.  New word: frenemy.  Paige dropped that one on me to explain her relationship to shortstop Bridget Sheehan of Triton who watched the game.

Bridget’s Vikings (15-1) take on undefeated North Reading on Monday afternoon at Triton.  That should be a game to see……..and blog about.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

NHS coach Bob Gillespie and Brooke Rogers

Seventh inning drop

Play at third

Annie Siemasko eyes a pitch from Julia Carrillo

Outfield collision but LF Cali Caponigro holds on

3B Liv Salvatore

2B Kat Zeylaya

Northeast coach Bruce Rich

Courtney Walsh

 

 

 

 

 

 

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