Category Archives: Essex Tech

The Clippers are alive and well!

The Clippers finished their late-season run to the tournament today.

Casey McLaren – Two-hitter with nine K’s

Casey McLaren – Triple that drove in two runs

(Newburyport MA) Struggling along with a 3-10 record after their May 10th loss to Masco, any tournament plans were dreams of the highest order.

Needing seven straight wins to qualify for the post-season, the Clippers completed that remarkable accomplishment with a 3-0 victory over Essex Tech on Saturday afternoon.

Coach Mark Rowe said that his team’s approach changed after that 10th loss.  “We talked in the dugout the next day and I told them that our chances of making the tournament were slim, but they weren’t none.  We changed our focus to only the next game and not beyond it. We ended up beating several teams that had defeated us in our first meeting.”

Junior Casey McLaren didn’t do it all for the Clippers (10-10) today but he came close!  He drove in Newburyport’s first two runs in the third inning with a triple to the fence in right center.  On the mound he struck out nine, allowed only two hits, and started a 1-6-3 double play.

Ken Hodge scores an insurance run in the 5th inning

“When he (Casey) throws strikes, with his speed, he is going to put himself in a good spot,” said Coach Rowe.  “Today he was dominant and overpowering.”

Essex Tech coach Jed Beauparlant agreed: “We ran into a pretty good pitcher today.  He had us off balance.”

Casey told me afterwards, “My fastball was on and for part of the game I had a good curveball.”

The Clippers got an insurance run in the fifth inning.  After Ken Hodge walked, the Hawks decided to intentionally walk Casey.  Made sense since Casey had tripled in his previous at-bat while Tommy Greene (the next batter) had popped out twice.  What made “sense” didn’t work out for ET, however, as Tommy laced a run-scoring single down the line in right.

The Hawks (7-12) had only four baserunners in the game and three of them were cut down on the bases.  Andrew Fournier had ET’s first hit on a beautiful bunt in the third inning but was thrown out attempting to steal.  Will Preshon was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning but later was taken out in the middle of a well-turned 1-6-3 double play.  The killer for the Hawks was in their 6th when Ben Condon tripled to the fence with two outs.  Four pitches later Ben thought that the count was 3-2 and when Chris Masta swung and missed Ben ran toward home thinking the inning was over.  That miscue got him caught in a rundown in which he was tagged out by catcher Ken Hodge to end the inning.  “You have to be mentally engaged,” said Coach Beauparlant afterwards. “He thought the count was 3-2.”

Hawks starter Jack Christianson

Coach Beauparlant liked the work of his freshman starter Jack Christianson. “That was a good experience for him.  It was nice that his brother (seniorDylan) was the catcher.”

The Clippers left nine runners stranded and had four hits.

Senior Ken Hodge scored two runs for NHS.

Casey McLaren afterwards: “We’ve won seven in a row but every one has been a battle.  Nothing was easy.  We had to beat teams we had already lost to.  I feel bad for whoever has to play us in the first round!”

Coach Rowe: “I’m very happy for the kids.  They got to play today in front of a great crowd.”

Former NHS coach Bill Pettingill was in the house.

Weather?  Over in Amesbury it rained three different times before the three o’clock start time.  I came over after the third rain shower just to see if it might still be played.  Arrived just before the first pitch.  Had to scramble a bit to get this one covered but was glad to see the tourney-clincher.

Jed Beauparlant: “I’m proud of the way my guys battled after being eliminated from the playoffs last week.”

The tourney selections come out on Tuesday.  Certainly the Clippers will be at the bottom of the seeding and will face one of the top seeds.  As Casey suggested, that high seed could get more than they bargain for.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Ben Condon on his way to third

Ben Condon caught in a rundown

Walker Barkiewicz makes a putout

Chris Masta and Parker McLaren

Tommy Greene drove in a run

Ben Condon talks to Coach Beauparlant

Andrew Wellman

Shortstop Tommy Murphy reaches for a low throw as Andrew Fournier tries to steal second

Tommy Murphy holds on after being upended by Andrew Fournier

SS Chris Masta throws to first

Ken Hodge scored two runs

3B Ty Coglin throws to first

Max Faigen

Play at first

Clippers dugout


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Whittier gets 2-1 walk-off versus Essex Tech in D3 North First Round

Whittier coach Cheryl Begin celebrates the walk-off win with the Beauchesne sisters

Winning pitcher Nicole Verrette struck out nine and scattered four hits

(Haverhill MA) Whittier Tech defeated Essex Tech for the third time this season.

This time the score was 2-1 in a Division 3 North First Round game on a sunny/cloudy/drizzly Saturday afternoon at Whittier.

The ending was dramatic as Olivia Beauchesne’s two-out blast in the bottom of the seventh inning (over RF Hannah Lilly’s head) delivered teammate Kayle Hobbs from 3B with the game winner.

The Wildcats trailed 1-0 in the second inning as senior Anna Cloutman brought in freshman Hester Murphy with an RBI single that was nearly caught by WT rightfielder Eliza Slocum.

Whittier (19-2) tied things in the fourth inning.  Kaley Thibault walked to lead the inning off and later scored on Alyssa Wilson’s sharp single to CF.

I was impressed with both pitchers.  Whittier sophomore Nicole Verrette K’d nine Hawks and allowed four hits.  Four of the Hawks outs in the last two innings were strikeouts.  Essex Tech freshman Sheree Fallon struck out only two but limited WT to four hits.

CF Allison Vienneau makes a great catch for ET in the first inning

Several defensive gems by ET (14-8) kept them in the game against a team that already had 8-3 and 6-1 wins over them this season.  In the first inning, CF Allison Vienneau made a back-to-the-infield, catch deep in center field.  I’m guessing that the shot by Allison Beauchesne would have left a fenced-in outfield.  Hester Murphy had two sparklers at 3B.  Both were line drives.  The first one (in the 2nd inning) was turned into a double play.  The other one (in the 7th inning) was hit by Nicole Verrette.  Hester’s catch on that one was the second out of the inning.

Kayle Hobb’s base-running in the walk-off inning was very important.  After singling, Kayle went from first to third on a grounder to third.  That infield grounder by Kyleigh Campbell pulled in 3B Hester Murphy and Kayle saw the base uncovered as she rounded second.  Shortstop Emily Brown covered 3B but the throw from 1B Caitlyn O’Shea was high and Kayle was in safely.  The next batter (Nicole Verrette) whacked a line drive to 3B Hester Murphy and Kayle resisted the impulse to take off for home on contact.  It would have been an inning-ending double play if she had.  Next batter Olivia Beauchesne then delivered the long hit to right field to win the game.

Olivia Beauchesne’s game winner was hit a long way

I believe that Olivia’s hit to right would have left the fenced-in parks I’ve seen.

Essex Tech’s four hits came from junior Hannah Lilly (2), and one each from freshman Hester Murphy and senior Anna Cloutman.

Kayle Hobbs had two of WT’s hits.  Freshman Alyssa Wilson and senior Olivia Beauchesne had one each.

The solid pitching and sound defense made this a game that lasted just over an hour.  Good thing because the game no sooner ended when it started to drizzle.

Special thanks to Whittier AD Kevin Bradley for helping me get to the correct field.  I was unknowingly heading for the Whittier/Bishop Fenwick baseball game which started at the same time as the softball game.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.  Retweeting the coverage is greatly appreciated.)

Nicole Verrette

Whittier shortstop Kelleigh Greaney

Essex Tech CF Allison Vienneau

Hester Murphy steals second base

RF Eliza Slocum nearly catches Anna Cloutman’s sinking liner

Hester Murphy scores the Essex Tech run

Hannah Lilly makes a play in RF

3B Hester Murphy sets to throw to 1B

Kaley Thibault ties the game for Whittier in the 4th inning

IB Caitlyn O’Shea tosses to 1B

ET freshman pitcher Sheree Fallon allowed only four hits.

ET coach Jody Norton

ET catcher Allison Sholds

Kayle Hobbs gets to 3B on some very aggressive base-running

WT coach Cheryl Begin talks to Nicole Verrette in the 7th inning




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Amesbury girls win rematch with Essex Tech 5-0

In front of the Essex Tech goal was a busy place most of the afternoon.

In front of the Essex Tech goal was a busy place most of the afternoon.

Cape Ann League All-Star Emma DiPietro (11) looks to pass

Cape Ann League All-Star Emma DiPietro (11) looks to pass

(Amesbury MA) A month ago it took a penalty-kick save by Indians goalie Alli Napoli to preserve a scoreless tie.

This time around it was all Amesbury as they routed Essex Tech, 5-0, on a cold, breezy Monday afternoon at Cashman Elementary School.

The non-league match involved two Division 4 teams who could meet again in the MIAA tournament.

ET (12-4-2) had won nine straight before losing to Georgetown and now Amesbury, both from the Cape Ann League.

The Hawks from Danvers have dominated their league (Commonwealth Athletic Conference) the last few seasons but this season’s short sample suggests that the competition is more rugged in the CAL.  One of ET’s other defeats was to another CAL team, Triton.

Amesbury (9-4-5) had a slim 1-0 advantage after the first half.  Credit the Hawks defense led by junior Skylah Mahon-Dixey for some of that.  The Indians hit the goal post (Emma Richardson) and the crossbar (Chelsea Lynch) in that first half.

The only goal of the half belonged to senior Mollie Lynch.  Mollie got in close from the left and overpowered freshman GK Olivia Cassidy early in the half.

The shot of Mollie Lynch (19) goes over ET goalie Olivia Cassidy

The shot of Mollie Lynch (19) goes over ET goalie Olivia Cassidy

Things got off to a bad start for Essex Tech in the second half.  Senior Ella Spiess chased a ball that Amesbury GK Alli Napoli was sliding out to save.  The two collided and Ella landed on her back and left the game.  Ella is the Hawks second leading scorer with thirteen goals.

Ella Spiess flies over Amesbury goalie Alli Napoli

Ella Spiess flies over Amesbury goalie Alli Napoli

After a Chelsea Lynch near-miss (wide left) a long punt by GK Alli Napoli sent Chelsea away for a long run down the middle.  Chelsea sped in close and didn’t miss.  Alli should have an assist on that second goal.

Chelsea Lynch (12) finds the far corner for Amesbury's second goal

Chelsea Lynch (12) finds the far corner for Amesbury’s second goal

Essex Tech never gave up but the chances for Amesbury kept coming.  The Indians had only nineteen goals in seventeen games coming in but you couldn’t tell that by the way they pressured the visitors in this game.

A good example of pressure was the number of corner kicks that Amesbury had.  In the second half two of those corner kicks turned into goals.

The third goal belonged to Ashlee Porcaro who parked in front of the net on teammate Ashley Pettet’s CK.  A loose ball turned up in front and it was an easy finish for the freshman.

Ashlee Porcaro (left 14) set to cash in a loose ball

Ashlee Porcaro (left 14) set to cash in a loose ball

A later CK, by Emma DiPietro, was mishandled by Hawks GK Olivia Cassidy and junior Michaela Halloran had a juicy setup on the doorstep which she converted.

Michaela Halloran (9) eyes the goal she just scored

Michaela Halloran (9) eyes the goal she just scored

Mikayla Porcaro turned a throw-in into a goal

Mikayla Porcaro turned a throw-in into a goal

The final goal was a throw-in by senior Mikayla Porcaro which she literally threw into the goal.  The throw-in was high and Olivia Cassidy jumped in vain for it.

Christine Russo (nineteen goals, three assists) made several good runs for the Hawks in the game.  Amesbury, however, had three second-team Cape Ann League All-Stars (Alli Napoli, Julia LaMontagne, and Mikayla Porcaro) as their final three defenders so the chances for ET were few.

Amesbury’s two first-team CAL All-Stars (Emma DiPietro, and Ashley Pettet) played that way.  They controlled the ball without panicking and could get by defenders often with clever dribbling.  Their passing was excellent.

Some things are what they are.  The Cashman Elementary School field leaves plenty to be desired.  Uneven, muddy, and minus a scoreboard would be starters.  There will be no tournament games there.

For a team like Amesbury, which had only nineteen goals in seventeen games, to get five in one game was a nice way to end their regular season.

This was the Indians first winning season in a while.  The previous three have been, 5-10-3 (2015), 5-12-1 (2014), and 6-10-1 (2013).

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Mikayla Godding

Mikayla Godding

CAL All-Star Ashley Pettet

CAL All-Star Ashley Pettet

Amesbury shot grazes the crossbar in the first half

Amesbury shot grazes the crossbar in the first half

Christine Russo (17) and Maddy Creps (2)

Christine Russo (17) and Maddy Creps (2)

Maia Etsy (15) and Emma Richardson (25) chase Rachel Luddy (6)

Maia Etsy (15) and Emma Richardson (25) chase Rachel Luddy (6)

Olivia Cassidy makes a save

Olivia Cassidy makes a save

ET defender Skylah Mahon-Dixey

ET defender Skylah Mahon-Dixey

Amesbury captain Julia LaMontagne

Amesbury captain Julia LaMontagne

Virginia Vienneau (39) chases a loose ball

Virginia Vienneau (39) chases a loose ball



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Filed under Alli Napoli, Amesbury, Essex Tech