Category Archives: Pennridge

Seven-run inning gets Newburyport 10-5 win vs Pentucket

Grace Habib had four hits and drove in three runs for Newburyport
Sarah Sargent (3 hits, 3 RBI) for Pentucket

(Newburyport MA) The Newburyport Clippers (6-4) used a seven-run third inning to defeat Pentucket, 10-5, on Tuesday afternoon at Cashman Park.

The Sachems (3-7) had tied the score at, 3-3, in their half of the third inning.

Freshman Keira Dowell was the surprise starter for Newburyport.

“I found out last night that I was pitching today because Emily Meleedy was sick,” said Keira who had done some pitching for the Newburyport JVs. 

Keira had six strikeouts and only two walks.

The secret to her success against Pentucket was her ability to keep the Sachems from putting a big inning together.

Pentucket had at least one hit in every inning, but they stranded runners in every inning.  The chances were there but on this sunny afternoon the big hits weren’t.

Keira Dowell won her first varsity start

“It was rough,” said Pentucket coach Deb Smith afterwards.  “We usually come out stronger.  We’ve been hitting so well lately.”

The Clippers had twelve hits but stranded only FIVE runners.  That made the difference.

Half of the NHS hits came in the breakaway third inning.  Twelve Clippers batted.  Five batters in, Newburyport had only one run in and two outs.  But Keira Dowell followed with a two-run single.  After that, an infield error and three additional hits (Maddie McLeod, Cali Caponigro, Grace Habib) turned minimal damage into significant damage.

“When people start hitting, it’s contagious,” said Clippers coach Bob Gillespie of the big inning.

Maddie McLeod scores for Clippers

The 10-3 spread after three innings had some thinking of a possible 10-run, mercy ruling ahead but Pentucket would have none of it.

Pentucket starter Charlotte Latham allowed only one baserunner over the final three Newburyport innings. 

Meanwhile, the Sachems added a run in the fifth (Sarah Sargent RBI double) and another in the seventh (Nicole Tocci RBI single).

But the big inning didn’t happen for the visitors and Newburyport came away with a 10-5 win.

Grace Habib continued her remarkable hitting against Pentucket.  In two games versus the Sachems, Grace is eight-for-eight with seven RBI.

“It’s easy to time out someone’s speed when you’ve already hit against her,” explained Grace afterwards. 

Grace was Newburyport’s catcher.

Nieve Morrissey and Emma Lopata

“Grace did a great job behind the plate,” said Coach Smith. “We couldn’t steal after the first inning.”

Sophomore Maddie McLeod had three hits, two RBI, and scored two runs.  Maddie had singles in each of the first three innings.

Cali Caponigro and Keira Dowell each had two RBI for Newburyport.

I’ve seen Pentucket senior Sarah Sargent twice and been impressed both times.  Sarah can certainly play shortstop with good leadership skills and has a strong, accurate arm.  Her hitting was equally eye-catching today.  She had two doubles, and a single and drove across three Pentucket runs.

Charlotte Latham pitched for Pentucket

Senior Nicole Tocci also had three hits for the Sachems.

Charlotte Latham and Megan Codair each had two hits.  Meghan Hamel scored twice.

Bob Gillespie: “Pentucket is always tough to beat.  Keira pitched very well.  It was her first varsity win.”

I’m suspecting that many of Keira’s pitches were up in the strike zone because Pentucket totaled nine flyball/popup outs.

I showed up at Pioneer Park looking for the game.  Back in the day all of the softball games were at Cashman Park, so I knew where to look next for today’s game.

Meghan Hamel scores for Sachems

Nice weather after a cold, damp Memorial Day weekend.  Cashman Park always has a nice breeze when it’s a warm day.  Play there when it’s cold, and that breeze isn’t as friendly.

Another thing about Cashman Park is that Park Lunch is nearby and occasionally the aroma of hamburg/steak ventures over. 

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

Keira Dowell
Sarah Sargent forces Jenny Masone at 2B
1B Sydney Pichette
Meghan Hamel scored two runs
1B Lea Quintiliana
RF Bailey Stock makes a nice catch
2B Maddie McLeod under a popup
SS Sarah Sargent throws to first base
Senior Isabel Garcia
Near catch by CF Nieve Morrissey
3B Cali Caponigro throws to 1B
Collision course
LF Sophie Lavallee in on a line drive
SS Emma Keefe
Cali Caponigro and Keira Dowell pre-game

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Newburyport stays undefeated with exciting 58-54 win at Pentucket

Newburyport celebrates a rare win over Pentucket

Mackenzie Currie (18 points) heads into the heart of the Newburyport defense

(West Newbury MA) Pentucket doesn’t lose very often at home, or anywhere else, for that matter.

But the visiting Newburyport Clippers got that rare feat done, 58-54, on Wednesday night.

Both teams were undefeated and had large-margin wins over everyone else in the Cape Ann League.

“It was the win of the season for us,” said Newburyport senior Abigail Gillingham (10 points) afterwards. “They don’t expect anyone to come in here and give them a hard time.  We had the mindset that this was our game, and no one was going to take it away from us.”

Both teams were aggressive on offense (taking the ball to the basket) and defense.  There was never a chance that the 30-second shot clock would be used.

Two Mackenzie Currie free throws put the Sachems (7-1) ahead by two, 52-50, with 1:18 left.

“I thought we had enough to win,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara, “after we got the lead but give them credit, they knocked down free throws.”

Not only did Newburyport make free throws (eight in the final forty-four seconds) but even when they missed, they were able to immediately get the ball back and produce points.

Senior Leah Metsker (9 points) made her first attempt, missed the second but got her own rebound and earned two more free throws.  She made both and the Clippers led, 53-52.

Leah Metsker shoots a free throw

After a Pentucket turnover, Deidre McElhinney (11 points) was fouled.  She made the first, missed the second, but the Sachems lost the rebound out of bounds.

Deidre McElhinney shoots free throws

More chances followed for Newburyport at the line.  Leah Metsker made both and now the Clippers were up four, 56-52, with ten seconds left as the game got away from Pentucket.

Deidre McElhinney guarded by Greta Maurer

“I’m glad I could make some clutch shots,” said Leah.  “I tried hard to focus because the gym was so loud.”

“It was such a relief that we could finish it out,” added Deidre.

“Props to Leah and Deidre for making their free throws at the end,” added Abigail Gillingham.

Part of Pentucket’s defensive strategy was limit Abigail’s touches.

“We focused on her and gave up shots to other kids instead,” explained Coach McNamara, “but some of those kids made shots.”

Abigail Gillingham (10 points) guarded by Mackenzie Currie

Abigail didn’t even touch the ball for the first four minutes of the game.

Credit Mackenzie Currie for the tough defense on the NHS top scorer although she had plenty of help from nearby teammates.

Mackenzie led all scorers with eighteen points.  The Pentucket senior (going to St. Joe’s next year) hit two 3’s and went hard to the basket even against multiple defenders.

Sophomore Abby Dube tallied fourteen points including three 3’s.  Her last three was part of a seven-point run in the final quarter that gave Pentucket the 52-50 lead.

A key contributor for NHS was sophomore Jackie Doucette (12 points).  Jackie had a couple of three’s, as well as a full-court drive.

Newburyport coach Karen Grutchfield: “It was a nice team win.  I am so happy for Leah.  Shooting under those circumstances is hard, but she did it.  I thought that Emma (Foley) did a good job rebounding and scoring.”

It certainly didn’t help Pentucket to lose their top scorer (Arielle Cleveland) four minutes into the game.

Pentucket coach John McNamara

“Despite not having Arielle available, we still had a chance to win and didn’t,” added Coach McNamara.

Newburyport had lost seven straight to Pentucket dating back to February of 2017.

“We’re so excited to finally beat them,” said Leah.

The Clippers had only four turnovers in the second half while the Sachems had nine.

Jackie Doucette: “We’ve been preparing for Pentucket for a while.  We had a good idea of what they would do.”

Impressed with Pentucket sophomore Audrey Conover.  First time I’ve seen her play.

One of the advantages for coaches is that all of the Cape Ann League games are being filmed for the excluded public.  No need to do any in-person scouting.

Easy to imagine how noisy it would have been if folks could have attended.

Pentucket box

Newburyport box

The coverage of this game will be linked on Twitter (@mcclellandpeter) and be on my McClelland Miscellanea online blog.  Hoping to get it posted on Mascores too.  Pictures should show up on Instagram (@mcclellandmiscellanea).

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

Lana Mickelson

Jackie Doucette (12 points)

Deidre McElhinney breaks after a steal

Greta Mauer

Gabby Bellacqua, Abby Dube, Makenna Ward

Gabby Loughran

Deidre McElhinney passes out of a double-team

Abby Dube (14 points)

Mackenzie Currie

Audrey Conover and Deidre McElhinney

Emma Lopata

Deidre McElhinney

Mackenzie Currie puts Pentucket up by two

Jackie Doucette (12 points) shoots from long range











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Pennridge Defeats Souderton in Boys Volleyball

#12 of Pennridge spikes against Souderton

(East Rockhill PA)  I saw the Pennridge Rams defeat the Souderton Indians, 3-0, in high school boys volleyball Thursday night at Pennridge High School.

I had never seen a high school volleyball game before.  However, I had seen a number of Gordon College women’s volleyball games a few years ago so I wasn’t a total newbie to what went on.

I knew nothing about either Souderton or Pennridge and chose the game because the outdoor conditions (40-50 degrees) around here “encourage” watching an indoor sport.

It turned out, as I learned in online Intelligencer, that Pennridge is a very good, undefeated team.  They are now 5-0 in the Suburban One League Continental Conference.  Last year Pennridge was the PIAA District One Class AAA champ.

The Rams jumped in front early in all three games (25-17, 25-15, 25-12) versus Souderton (4-1).  That early lead was challenged only in the third game. 

High-flying #12 of the Pennridge Rams

I was impressed with the play of #12 of Pennridge.  However, with no program available, I cannot name him.  This player was very successful in finishing plays for the Rams.  He wasn’t very tall but he could leap with good timing.

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Filed under Pennridge, Souderton