(Newburyport) Everyone contributed.
Whether it was scoring a run, getting a hit, or having an RBI, everyone who played had at least one of those positives.
But the biggest positive, the W, belonged to North Reading, 11-8, against Newburyport on Tuesday afternoon at Pioneer Park.
The turning-point play in this game was in the Newburyport fifth inning. The Clippers (0-2) trailed 4-0 but a walk (Lea Quintilliani), single (Nieve Morrissey), and a two-run double by Emily Meleedy cut the deficit in half. When Emma Keefe singled to center, Emily tried to score from second. However, Caitlin Reilly’s throw from center nailed Emily at the plate and limited the promising inning to just two runs.
“It was absolutely a big play,” said NR coach Nicole Zimmerman afterwards. “Getting that out at home took the wind out of their sails a little bit. We had our big inning right after that.”
“The girl (Caitlin Reilly) in centerfield made a nice throw,” recalled Newburyport coach Bob Gillespie. “There was an issue with their catcher (Kristen Galvin) blocking home plate. The umpire said it was close, but he didn’t call it.”
The sixth inning was a run-fest for both teams. The Hornets (1-0) sent eleven batters to the plate and collected seven runs. Alyssa Cassarino and Jocelyn Ostrowsky each had two RBIs during this productive inning.
Credit Newburyport. Now behind, 11-2, and having only four hits to this point, the Clippers had their own big inning.
They sent ten batters up and had five hits that turned into six runs. Cassidy Bolcome had two RBIs, while teammates Nieve Morrissey, Emily Meleedy, Keira Dowell, and Isla Devivo had one RBI each during this scoring spree.
“I’m proud of the way we came back,” said Coach Gillespie. “We’ve just got to figure out how to start faster.”
Sophomore Keely Hannon went the distance for the Hornets to get the win. “Keely did an excellent job for us,” said Coach Zimmerman.
Both teams had defensive gems in the last inning. Newburyport shortstop Emma Keefe made a diving catch on an infield popup while rightfielder Bella Duffy made a nice running catch toward the foul line.
Just before Bella’s catch, Coach Zimmerman had yelled for her to come in closer, which Bella did. Those extra steps in were a factor in Bella getting to the ball she caught.
“I had just called her in,” said Coach Zimmerman. “I guess I do know what I’m talking about,” she laughed.
Sophomore Jocelyn Ostrowsky led the Hornets statistically with two RBI, two hits, and three runs scored.
Caitlin Reilly (3 hits/2 runs/1 RBI) and Alyssa Cassarino (2 RBI/2 hits/1 run) also had big afternoons for North Reading.
Sophomore Emily Meleedy had three hits and three RBI from Newburyport. Teammate Nieve Morrissey had an RBI, two hits, and two runs scored.
Coach Zimmerman: “It was definitely an interesting game. It felt good to win our opener.”
Coach Gillespie: “We started slow and flat. We didn’t hit the ball well and made some key errors. We opened the door, and they came in. The second half of the game was a lot different. We made some plays and put the bat on the ball. We’ll be back.”
North Reading was 13-2 last year while the Clippers were 8-6.
Newburyport has now lost thirteen straight games to North Reading dating back to 2014.
There was sun this afternoon but the late start (4:30PM) brought on the evening chill before this high-scoring affair ended. It is early April after all!
(The pictures will enlarge.)