(Newburyport MA) Ipswich coach Paul James knew that he’d seen something special.
“She’s legit. No doubt.”
The Tigers coach was referencing Newburyport’s Emily Meleedy.
Emily had plenty to do with the (3-0) Clippers, 10-5, win over the Tigers on Wednesday afternoon at Pioneer Park.
At the end of the fourth inning, the home team was ahead, 9-1.
By then, Emily had a double, home run (over the centerfield fence), and a single, driving in five runs and scoring three times.
The two batters ahead of Emily in the batting order (Emma Keefe & Cali Caponigro) were also very productive early on as Newburyport built their big lead. Emma and Cali both reached base three times and each scored three times.
Emily also pitched.
Through four innings the NHS freshman allowed just one hit (Kate Bekeritis) and struck out five.
Credit Ipswich for putting a four-run rally together in the 5th inning.
“We were down early but we didn’t quit,” said Coach James. “We got the game back closer.”
The Tigers (2-1) started making solid contact and getting on base.
“It took us a couple of times around to get used to the pitching,” said Coach James.
Eight Tigers came to the plate in that 4-run fifth with Lexi James, Kate Bekeritis, and Cassidy Smith getting RBIs.
But the damage was limited to four runs. Again, we find Emily Meleedy playing a big role. She assisted on an out at first, caught a popup, and struck out the last batter of the inning.
Emily struck out seven in the game and ended three innings with strikeouts.
Ipswich had two hits in the 6th inning but ran into a double play on a fly ball to douse a promising chance to score.
RF Keira Dowell ended the game with a nice running catch in foul territory.
The infield surface at Pioneer Park was hard and bumpy. Both teams struggled making plays on grounders as they tried to figure out hops.
“I thought that we played a sloppy game,” said Newburyport coach Bob Gillespie afterwards. “We were much better in the first two games. But we can correct the mistakes.”
“We had some struggles, but we pushed through,” said Emily Meleedy.
The Tigers finished with six hits. Freshman Piper Reily had two of them.
The Clippers started four freshmen and an eighth grader (Sophie Lavallee).
The Tigers started three freshmen.
“We’re a young team and this was a huge building game for us,” said Coach James.
Emily Meleedy: “I was throwing mostly fastballs. I have a good team to back me up. It feels good to hit a homer. I play club softball in Salisbury. On the club team I pitch and play shortstop.”
Little bit of rain early but that was the end of it.
Parking at Pioneer Park is nearly non-existent. There were two other games going on at the same time. I don’t know the parking solution, but there were cars in harm’s way when I left. Be careful over there.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)