(Byfield MA) “Where’s Triton?’”
“In Byfield, where’s that?”
I’m expecting some strangers to show up to watch Triton softball in the near future. Possibly tomorrow at the Manchester-Essex game but certainly at Monday’s showdown with 14-1 North Reading.
What’s all the excitement? The Vikings are having a season to remember. They’ve won eleven straight and are making loud noises in Division Two. The Boston Herald has Triton ranked 25th in that division today.
This afternoon, Triton (14-1) rallied past Newburyport, 8-3.
“We’ve been underestimated all season,” said CF Zoe Cesati afterwards.
Zoe bounced a two-run homer (first of the year) off the top of the center field fence in Triton’s three-run sixth that gave the home team a 7-2 cushion.
I chose to do today’s game because I was certain that Newburyport (8-7) was better than the team I saw taken out 17-1 in five innings by Triton on May 1st.
And right I was. For three innings today, the Clippers looked capable of pulling a huge upset. Triton? Very shaky in the field in the first inning and able to get only two hits in three innings off NHS starter Paige Gouldthorpe.
That shaky defense (three errors) cost Triton two runs and Paige’s pitching had the home team down, 2-0, after three.
“We’ve been down early before and have responded well,” said Triton coach Dave Dupere afterwards.
And respond they did. The defense tightened, and the hits followed.
“Everyone started hitting,” explained RF Dani West. “That’s what we needed.”
The Vikings batted around in the 4th inning, collecting four runs on five hits. “Hitting is our primary focus in practice,” said Coach Dupere. “We play good defense, but we’ve got to hit to win games.”
Triton finished with eleven hits on the afternoon. Junior Bridget Sheehan led the way with three hits and the Cape Ann League All-Star scored three times.
The Vikings would add a run in the fifth and three more in the sixth.
Newburyport had seven hits getting three of them (Meg Winn, Annie Siemasko, Liv Salvatore) in the 7th and producing a run.
Annie Siemasko and Liv Salvatore each had two hits. Meg Winn scored twice.
Taylor Penniman and Grace McGonagle had two hits apiece for the Vikings.
Annie Siemasko and Zoe Cesati both made nice running catches in center field.
Newburyport shortstop Meg Winn turned a double play on an infield grounder.
“I have to credit Grace McGonagle,” added Coach Dupere. “The kid gets on every time up!” Grace had two hits, a walk, and was hit by a pitch.
Emily Karvielis had a run-producing triple in the sixth. Defensively she had five assists and handled three popups.
SeniorDani West (RF) plans to attend Wentworth in the fall to study architecture. Glad to learn from Dani that her mother was better. Dani’s mother was hit by a foul ball at Amesbury earlier in the month. “She has a little concussion and coach now has a special helmet for her to wear at our games.”
“Defensively, we were spotty in the first inning, but we cleaned it up after that,” said Coach Dupere.
Pitcher Katherine Quigley was the winning pitcher. She is 13-1 this season. The sophomore seldom overpowers anyone but pitches to spots and lets Triton’s defense take care of the rest. Katherine gave up one earned run today.
Shortstop Bridget Sheehan finished the game handling an obstructed-view grounder.
Dave Dupere was leery about looking past the ME game tomorrow toward Monday’s rematch with North Reading. So I’ll do it. The Vikings lost 6-2 on April 18th at North Reading. Catcher Tara Driver had three homers for the Hornets. Tara will be going to D1 Niagara on a softball scholarship. Find a way to minimize Tara and Triton could come away with a CAL title. By the way, both teams are in Division 2 so a third game between the two might be in the cards come tournament time. Pentucket did the Vikings a huge favor yesterday by defeating NR 7-3, ending a long (since 2015) winning streak the Hornets had going in the Cape Ann League. The CAL title should be on the line on Monday afternoon in Byfield.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)