(Amesbury MA) Closer than you might have thought.
#18 Lowell Catholic scored early and pressured late in the game, but #2 Amesbury had enough to notch a, 4-2, win on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Amesbury (18-3) now faces Boston Latin on Tuesday in the Division Three North quarterfinals.
The Indians freshman pitcher Alana Delisle was the difference maker for the home team.
Alana struck out eight Crusaders including the last two batters in the 7th inning with two LC runners in scoring position.
She also, somehow, caught a do-or-get-hurt line drive the third inning.
Later, in the sixth inning Emily Bartlett doubled and teammate Brenna Riley singled her home with two out. However, Alana cut off the throw home after Brenna’s single and threw to first to catch Brenna away from the bag for the final out of the inning and limit the LC runs to one.
“Alana was fantastic,” said AHS coach Jacqui Waters afterwards. “We went back-and-forth as to who should pitch today and I’m glad we went with her.”
Lowell Catholic (12-10) put two hits together (triple Emily Bartlett & single Amanda Bursey) to jump out 1-0 in the first.
But then Alana settled down to retire fifteen of the next sixteen batters she faced.
“I threw some curves and some changeups,” said Alana. Her changeup was a real problem for several of the Crusader hitters.
LC pitcher Emily Bartlett (6 K’s) escaped a bases-loaded situation in the 2nd and two runners on in the 3rd inning.
“One or two miscues caused the outcome of this game,” said LC coach Frank Nugent after the game.
One of those miscues was in the fourth inning and allowed Amesbury to tie the score. Julia Campbell (three hits) hit a ball that right fielder Jillian O’Hearn nearly caught. However, it bounced off her glove and went a distance away into foul territory. While Jillian was getting the ball back into the infield AHS assistant coach Jim Hounam waved Julia on to third. The throw from 2B Brenna Riley went past third and out-of-bounds allowing Julia to tie the score.
It was 1-1 into the bottom of the 5th.
Amesbury picked up a decisive three runs in that inning. A misplayed bunt and a wild pitch allowed tainted runs to score and moved AHS ahead, 3-1. Megan McElaney followed with an RBI single that provided a crucial third run in that inning and gave the Indians a 4-1 lead.
In the sixth the Crusaders tallied a run but ended a promising inning with an out on the base paths.
The seventh was even more promising for the visitors. “We rallied in the seventh and had a chance but couldn’t get it done,” said Coach Nugent.
LC’s Megan Murphy led off with a single. Meg McElaney (LF) followed with a nice running catch of a long fly by Antonia Mukiibi that could have been run-producing. Karlee Calavritinos then reached on SS Emma DiPietro’s throwing error.
Two on, one out, with a two-run deficit. Re-enter pitcher Alana Delisle to K the final two batters and preserve a 4-2 win.
“They made a couple of miscues and that’s how we won,” said Coach Waters. “They are a very good team and they made it tough for us.”
“Amesbury should be happy with their team,” said Coach Nugent. “They don’t make a lot of mistakes. Their pitcher threw strikes. They have a very good program.”
Meg McElaney: “My friend Julia (Campbell) and I have been doing a lot of tee work because I have been in a batting slump. My first two at-bats didn’t go that well, but I was really focused. I told Coach Jim (Hounam) I was going to get a hit and I did.”
Amesbury reached the D3 North finals last season. A rebuilding season looked to be realistic for this season, but a host of newcomers have stepped right in to continue the Indians winning ways. Five freshmen (Avery Hallinan, Alana Delisle, Olivia Levasseur, Liv DeLong, and Ella Bezanson) were in the AHS starting lineup today.
Senior Amanda Bursey paced LC with a run scored, two hits, and an RBI.
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