(Groveland) “It all got put together today,” said Pentucket pitcher Molly LeBel.
Molly sure did her part, allowing only two singles and striking out fourteen.
The Pentucket bats and defense were equally good in their 11-1 win over Ipswich at Groveland Pines on Friday afternoon.
Pentucket (5-5) had hits and runs in every inning and were flawless in the field.
Molly LeBel came into the game with her eye on reaching 100 strikeouts for the season.
“I set a goal for myself to get there today,” she said. “I needed seven.”
Molly reaches her 7th at the end of a run of six straight strikeouts 2/3 of the way into the third inning.
“We faced a really good pitcher today,” said Ipswich coach Paul James afterwards. “She threw hard, and she got ahead of us.”
Pentucket had twelve hits and they were spread out throughout the game.
“We’re doing a much better job of coming out strong, of figuring out the pitcher right away,” said Pentucket coach Deb Smith.
Three batters into the first inning, the home team had two runs. Kendra Griffin had a bunt single, Kayla Murphy tripled, and Nikki Mitchell had a fielder’s choice to get Pentucket off to a great start.
Seven different players had hits in the game for Pentucket. Six different players scored runs and six different players had RBI.
“Everyone did their job,” said Emma Lopata post-game. “We had a lot of big hits.”
Emma had the best stats with three hits, three runs, and three RBI.
One of Emma’s hits cleared the fence in left in the second inning and landed in the dog park.
“That was the first home run I’ve ever hit at any level,” she said.
She did add with a laugh that, “if the homer had hit a dog she would have felt badly.”
Sydney Pichette had a two-run double in the third and Emma had a two-run double in the fourth inning as Pentucket sent up nine batters and scored four runs.
By the end of the fourth inning Pentucket led, 9-0.
Molly went 4 2/3 innings without allowing a hit. Annabel Morris broke up the no-hitter with a grounder to deep short. Lexi James followed with another single and Alexa Eliopoulos (who had reached on a dropped third strike) came in to score for the Tigers (3-5).
Molly retired seven straight batters after that to emerge with an 11-1 win.
Pentucket is now 5-5.
“We didn’t quit today,” said Coach James. “We’re getting better. Tomorrow, we play Whittier.”
Freshman Kayla Murphy had two triples and scored three runs.
Sophomore Julia Connelly scored twice as a pinch-runner.
Bailey Stock and Sydney Pichette both had two hits for Pentucket.
Ipswich starter Annabel Morris pitched her way out of a bases-loaded jam in the second inning.
Molly only walked two batters. “She was steady today,” said Coach Smith.
The weather worked for me today, cloudy with temps in the 60’s.
Ipswich 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 = 1
Pentucket 2 1 2 4 1 1 – = 11
(The pictures will enlarge.)