Category Archives: Pentucket

Amesbury routs Pentucket 21-0

Seniors from Pentucket and Amesbury
Alana DeLisle had four hits and struck out twelve

(Amesbury) The numbers are mind boggling!

Amesbury (12-0) has now scored 158 runs and given up 3 runs.

This afternoon they mercy-ruled Pentucket, 21-0.

Pentucket, which is now 6-7, had been in every game until today.

“They are obviously an unbelievable team,” said Pentucket coach Deb Smith afterwards.  “They hit 1-9.  We’re never going to face a team like this again.”

Today was Senior Day for Amesbury’s four seniors: Liv DeLong, Alana DeLisle, Olivia Levasseur, and Ella Bezanson.

“I started watching them when they were eighth graders on our freshman team,” recalled Amesbury coach Jacqui Waters.  “They are all great players.”

Olivia Levasseur had a 3-run homer

There will be next-level softball for all four of them.  Liv will be at Boston University while the other three are headed for Southern Maine.

“We’ve been together since third grade,” said Liv.  “Senior Day is a bit sad but we’re all going on to play some more.  We’ll leave behind a lot of memories, though.”

In this game, all the Amesbury players had at least one hit and scored at least one run.  Eight players in the lineup had RBI.

“We hit the ball hard,” said Coach Waters.

Amesbury sent eleven batters to the plate in the first inning and collected six runs on seven hits.

Ella Bezanson scored four times

Amesbury’s most productive inning was the third in which fifteen batters came up and totaled nine runs on ten hits.

“We were hitting the gaps today,” said Ella Bezanson. There were nine extra-base hits.

The most celebrated hit for Amesbury was in the fourth inning when Olivia Levasseur cleared the fence in left.

“It’s exciting running the bases and seeing the crowd at home plate,” said Olivia.  “It was like a dream come true.”

“I knew it was gone because I hit it a certain way,” she added.  This was Olivia’s second home run of the season.

Alana DeLisle

Easily lost in all the hitting, was the effective pitching of Alana DeLisle. 

The game was over after Pentucket batted in the fifth inning but Alana had enough time to record twelve strikeouts.

“I threw some curves today,” said Alana.  “I did what Ella (her sister, the catcher) told me to do.” Alana also made a nice diving catch of a short popup between the mound and home plate.

Pentucket did get two hits off Alana.  Nikki Mitchell lined a single to center in the first inning while teammate Meg Hamel singled sharply to left in the fourth inning.

Ella Bezanson paced Amesbury scoring four times.  Alana DeLisle led Amesbury with four hits (three doubles and a single).  Olivia Levasseur was tops in RBI with five.

Liv DeLong

“We’re moving on,” said Coach Smith. “We’ll put this game behind us.”

A food truck was available as part of the post-game Senior Day festivities.  I’ll admit I was tempted.

I was badly fooled by the weather.  I have had straight days requiring multi-layers.  Today it was sunny with no wind.  It felt good!

Pentucket   0   0   0   0   0   =    0

Amesbury   6   2   9   4   –    =  21

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Amesbury unofficial box

Pentucket unofficial box

Watching the game

Coach Smith visits the mound

Alana DeLisle makes a diving catch

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Meg Hamel’s two homers lead Pentucket to 17-1 win over Saugus

Meg Hamel went deep twice against Saugus
Kendra Griffin had three hits and scored four times

(Groveland) You’re there at the Groveland Pines dog park to watch your dog get some exercise.

Today that watching also needed to include incoming softballs.

Especially when #15 was batting.

Twice today Pentucket’s Meg Hamel cleared the leftfield fence.  The second shot was a grand slam.

Pentucket routed Saugus, 17-1.

Who saw this coming?

Two weeks ago, the teams met in Saugus and the home team won, 9-8.

Coach Deb Smith and Coach Steve Almquist

“Talk about night and day,” said Saugus coach Steve Almquist afterwards.  “They hit the ball all day and we couldn’t make any plays.”

“The last time we played there were a lot of errors, and we didn’t string hits together,” recalled Pentucket coach Deb Smith.

Neither one of those was a problem today for the home team at Groveland Pines.

Pentucket had fifteen hits in the four innings they batted.

“We’re on a roll with our hits,” said Coach Smith.  “We’re hitting the ball hard now.”

Devany Millerick scores for Saugus

In the Pentucket first, the first two batters reached and Nikki Mitchell singled them home.  Meg Hamel then launched the first of her home runs.  Instantly, it was, 4-0.

The Sachems (6-5) got a run back in the second.  A throwing error and several wild pitches allowed Devany Millerick (who had singled) to score for Saugus.

A two-out infield error enabled Kendra Griffin to get the run back in the second inning.  Kendra eventually scored four times and had three hits in the game.

Two weeks ago, Saugus spotted Pentucket four runs early and then rallied to take the lead for good.

Trouble in the infield

Not today.

Pentucket (6-6) blew open the 5-1 game in the 4th inning.  Sixteen batters went to the plate and Pentucket collected twelve runs on eight hits.

Saugus hurt themselves defensively with three errors in the disastrous inning. 

The visitors were also unlucky. A Pentucket batter reached after striking out.  In another situation, Saugus had their infield in with the bases loaded and a popup fell in just where they would normally have been positioned.  It just wasn’t their day!

3B Emma Lopata handles an infield chance

“They gave us extra outs and we took advantage,” said Coach Smith.

Meg Hamel had homered in the first, struck out in the second, and struck out the first time she batted in the 4th inning.  On the senior’s second at-bat in the 4th inning she again went deep, this time with the bases loaded.

“It felt really good to get them,” Meg said afterwards.

“Meg Hamel was awesome today,” said Coach Smith.  “I loved that.  She works so hard.  I’m so happy for her.”

Nikki Mitchell scored three times and had three RBI

Lost in all the Pentucket offense was the three-hit pitching of Molly LeBel.  Molly held the Sachems hitless in the final two innings.  She also had nine strikeouts in the game.

“We didn’t do much right today,” said Coach Almquist.  “Pentucket is a very good team.  We’re going to try and get them back on our schedule next year.”

Felicia Reppucci, Fallon Millerick, and Devany Millerick had the hits for Saugus.

Nikki Mitchell had two hits, three RBI, and scored three times for Pentucket.

Kayla Murphy had a solid game at short and scored three times.

The wind today was persistent often stirring up dust. 

      Saugus   0   1   0   0   0   =   1

Pentucket   4   1   0   12   –  =  17

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Saugus pitcher Fallon Millerick sets to throw to first base

Meg Hamel surrounded after two-run homer in the first inning.

Meg Hamel heads for home

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Solid pitching/hitting leads Pentucket to 11-1 win over Ipswich

Molly LeBel gave up two hits and struck out fourteen
Emma Lopata had a happy afternoon

(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.

Kendra Griffin steals second

“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.”

Emma Campbell steals second

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 Lopata’s home run celebrated

Emma had the best stats with three hits, three runs, and three RBI.

Julia Connelly scored twice

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.

Alexa Eliopoulos scores for Ipswich

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.”

Kayla Murphy and Lexi James

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.)

Unofficial Ipswich box

Unofficial Pentucket box

Shortstop Lexi James throws home

Pentucket coach Deb Smith

Ipswich coach Paul James

Softball watchers

3B Emma Lopata throws to first

CF Elin Roberts under a fly ball

Pitcher Annabel Morris

Emma Lopata heads for home

Holding the runner at third base

Pentucket/Ipswich captains

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Vaughn O’Leary tosses 2-hitter as Manchester-Essex shuts out Pentucket 4-0

Colin Coyne scores the first Hornets run
Ethan Hunt had 12 K’s in six innings of relief

(Groveland) The two runs that Manchester-Essex put up in the first inning didn’t seem like too much at the time.

But then the pitching of Hornets starter Vaughn O’Leary kicked in and those runs grew in size as the innings rolled by.

Manchester-Essex defeated Pentucket, 4-0, on Thursday afternoon at Groveland Pines.

Vaughn finished with a two-hitter and collected eleven strikeouts.

“The umpire was giving me the outside corner and I was able to command all my pitches,” said Vaughn afterwards.  “I know I’m on when I can start with off-speed pitches against 3-4-5 hitters.”

Mike D’Oreo had two hits

“I give their pitcher a lot of credit,” said Pentucket coach Kevin Murray.  “He didn’t throw many balls.  He came right at our hitters and attacked us all game.  He lived on the outside and we didn’t do a great job of adjusting to that.”

A walk (Colin Coyne), and a double (Ryan Andrews) were followed by a wild pitch and a fielder’s choice.  The result was a two-run first inning for the visitors.

“Obviously, getting two runs in the first helped us a lot,” said Hornets coach James Weed post-game.  “It puts pressure on the other team.”

Coach Murray brought on Ethan Hunt to pitch in the second inning.  The UMass Boston commit struck out twelve Hornets over the next six inning of relief.

Vaughn O’Leary at game’s end

“Ethan pitched very well,” said Coach Murray.  “Even during the inning with the runs, the hits weren’t hit that hard.”

Pentucket’s best chance to get back in the game was in the third inning.  An infield error and a Max Ligols’ single put two runners on with no outs.  Vaughn then struck out the next three batters to end the threat and the inning.

Manchester-Essex (6-3) added two more runs in the sixth inning.  The Hornets had two hits early in the inning (Ryan Andrews, Henry Otterbein) and two hits later on (Mike D’Oreo, Zak Porat) to drive in the runs. 

Kyle Ventola steals second

Pentucket (5-5) got two runners on with two outs in their half of the sixth inning, but Vaughn ended the threat by getting Chase Dwight to fly out deep to center.

Vaughn O’Leary: “I couldn’t have done it without my defense.  We could have lost this game if they hadn’t made plays.”

Coach Weed: “This team reminds me of the 2019 state champion team.  They’re not as talented but they’re proving a lot of doubters wrong.  They’re hitting as well as the 2019 team.  They’re fun to coach.  They play with energy.”

LF Colby Doane

Kyle Ventola and Max Ligols had Pentucket’s two hits.

Ryan Andrews and Mike D’Oreo each had two hits for Manchester-Essex.-

The weather was perfect.  Not too hot.  Not too cold with sunshine.

Manchester-Essex   2   0   0   0   0   2   0   =   4

               Pentucket   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   =   0

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Unofficial Pentucket box

Unofficial Manchester-Essex box

Catcher Kyle Ventola looks for a sign

Hornets watching

Vaughn Leary scores in the sixth inning

2B Justin Majka waits to tag Colby Doane

Brian Inger

AJ Pallazola steals second

Coach James Weed and Ryan Andrews

Colin Coyne and 3B Bryce Winter

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Pentucket plays ‘best game’ shutting out  Newburyport 3-0

Max Ligols had a two-run homer for Pentucket
Chase Dwight allowed 3 hits

(Groveland) “It was absolutely our best game of the year,” said Pentucket coach Kevin Murray afterwards.

Pentucket defeated Newburyport, 3-0, on Tuesday afternoon at Groveland Pines.

Chase Dwight pitched a 3-hitter.  Max Ligols had a 2-run homer and the Pentucket defense was error-free.

“You have to tip your cap to them (Pentucket),” said Newburyport coach Mark Rowe.  “They got the big hits when they needed to, and Chase (Dwight) pitched a great game.  He threw strikes and if you do that in this league good things are going to happen.”

Coach Mark Rowe and Coach Kevin Murray

The biggest hit was by Pentucket’s Max Ligols.  The UMF commit had two strikes on him in the fourth inning before clearing the leftfield fence.

“I was down on the count,” recalled Max.  “He threw me a first-pitch curve and then came back with it.  I just stayed behind and let loose on it.  It was the first homer I’ve ever hit.  I didn’t even have one in Little League!  It sure felt good.”

Max’s homer brought home teammate James Davis who had a long-count single leading off in that fourth inning.

Ethan Hunt and Jack Fehlner

“No one was an easy out today,” said Coach Murray.  “We didn’t have any first-pitch outs and we battled back from 0-2 counts.”

Pentucket collected an unearned run in the previous inning.  Trevor Kamuda reached on an infield error, stole second and took third on a fielder’s choice.  Chase Dwight’s two-out double brought Trevor home.

Newburyport’s best chance to get run(s) was in the fourth inning.  The Clippers loaded the bases with one out.  A walk (Lucas Stallard), a double (Owen Tahnk) and an intentional walk (Jack Fehlner) put Newburyport in a good spot.  But Pentucket escaped as Chase caught Brady Ford looking and handled Tyler Cowles’ grounder to end the threat.

SS Lucas Stallard throws to first

Pentucket answered with the Max Ligol homer in the bottom half of the fourth and had a 3-0 lead. 

Chase retired nine of the last ten batters he faced to earn the win for Pentucket.

“My fastball was my best pitch today,” said Chase afterwards.  “I had good location.”

“Our energy was high throughout the game,” he added.  “We hit when we needed to.  Whenever Newburyport did hit, my teammates were there making the plays.”

Chase told me that he will be attending Mass Maritime Academy in the fall.  “I may go out for baseball,” he said.  “You have to try out for the team, so we’ll see what happens there.”

Max Ligols slides back into first

The Clippers (8-3) came into today’s game averaging 6.9 runs per game.  “We hit a lot of balls hard today but right at people,” said Coach Rowe.

Pentucket (5-4) finished with six hits.  Max and Chase had two each.  Ethan Hunt and James Davis had the other two hits.

The Clippers had hits from Owen Tahnk, Jack Fehlner, and Connor Stick.

2B Connor Stick

Alex Robertson was solid for Pentucket at first base handling nine chances that included several low throws.  “Alex had some nice picks,” said Trevor Kamuda post-game.

Prior to this afternoon’s game, Pentucket had won three straight, before losing to Lynnfield last game.

The Clippers entered today’s game having won seven straight.  Last loss was on April 11th to Amesbury, until this afternoon. 

The weather was comfortably warm at the start and then became much cooler later.

Newburyport   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   =   0

      Pentucket   0   0   1   2   0   0   –   =   3

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Unofficial Newburyport box

Unofficial Pentucket box

1B Alex Robertson

Max Ligols rounds third

James Davis heads for third base in the fourth inning

Jack Fehlner

Pentucket infield drawn in

Chase Dwight had an RBI double in the third inning

Owen Tahnk had a double for Newburyport

Close play at second

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Pentucket get six to get 7-6 walkoff win vs Notre Dame

Walkoff win excitement
Nikki Mitchell hit the game-winner

(Groveland) “That pitch was just right, that’s all I can say,” said an excited Nikki Mitchell afterwards.

Nikki laced a two-strike, two-out double to right that drove across the game-winner for Pentucket.

“It was amazing,” Nikki said. “I am so happy.  I knew we could do it.”

Notre Dame Academy took the hard-luck 7-6 loss on Monday afternoon.

The Lancers (6-3) carried a 6-1 lead into the Pentucket seventh.  Lancers’ starter Carly Smith entered the inning with seven strikeouts and no walks. The home team only had two hits.

Lexi Martineau had three hits and scored three runs

There was little reason to think that things would change so drastically in the final half inning.

But change they.

“We’ve been in every game so far and we don’t give up,” said Pentucket coach Deb Smith afterwards.

Nikki Mitchell started the inning with a walk and ended the inning with a walkoff double.

Pentucket got four walks in the inning and benefitted from a high throw to the plate that scored a run.

Close play at first

The excitement grew as the inning unfolded. 

After Carly Smith registered her eighth strikeout, Pentucket was down to its final out and trailed 6-4.  They did, however, have two runners on and Kayla Murphy batting.  Kayla had struck out twice but this time, down to her last strike, she found the gap in right-center and tied the game.

After an intentional walk to Meghan Hamel, it was Nikki Mitchell’s turn.  Nikki had collected Pentucket’s first hit in fifth inning.  Nikki, like Kayla, got two strikes on her before hitting a ball over the rightfielder’s head which easily scored Kayla with the game-winner.

Lancer out at the plate

The team immediately mobbed Kayla after she scored while Nikki stood at second base.  “I was a little surprised by that,” laughed Nikki.  Shortly thereafter, however, the team got it walkoff celebration corrected and descended on Nikki. 

“Kayla and Nikki with two strikes on them got the job done for us,” said Coach Deb Smith.

“It was a tough loss,” said NDA coach Fred Smith.  “At the end there were a couple of walks by us and a couple of big hits by them.”

“We were on the other end of a game like this against Whittier on Friday,” he added.

Coach Deb Smith and Coach Fred Smith

“We’ve been working so hard as a team,” said Coach Deb Smith.  “Everyone did their job today.  It was a total team effort.”

Lexi Martineau paced the Lancers with three of their five hits.  She scored three runs and drove in two.

Lexi’s first hit drove in two runs in the 3-run NDA third inning.

Two walks, two hits, and two wild pitches gave the Lancers two more runs in the fifth inning.

Shortstop Sarah Freitas

Meanwhile NDA’s Carly Smith retired twelve straight batters before Pentucket put a hit batsman and two singles together to load the bases.  Emma Lopata drove in Pentucket’s first run with a fielder’s choice. 

NDA got the run back with a hit and three straight walks in the top of the seventh inning to make the score 6-1.

A key play in that NDA seventh inning was an attempt to steal home that turned into the final out of the inning.  There had been three straight walks.

And that set the stage for Pentucket’s ten-batter, six-run, final inning.

The weather was unpleasant.  You really have to dress for winter!

Notre Dame   0   0   3   0   2   0   1   =  6

Pentucket       0   0   0   0   1   0   6   =  7

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Pentucket unofficial box

Notre Dame Academy unofficial box

Play at third

Nikki Mitchell handles a popup

3B Emma Lopata

Molly Lebel

Sarah Freitas heads home with first NDA run

Shortstop Kayla Murphy

Play at second

3B Izzy Coit

1B Syd Pichette

Watching the game

Carly Smith

Celebrating their remarkable comeback

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Molly LeBel strikes out 15 in Pentucket’s 11-1 win over Georgetown

Freshman Molly LeBel struck out 15 Royals
Pentucket coach Deb Smith

(Groveland) “Molly (LeBel) pitched an excellent game,” said Pentucket coach Deb Smith afterwards.

The stats confirm the assessment: 15 strikeouts, four-hitter, two walks.

Pentucket defeated Georgetown, 11-1, on Monday afternoon.

“This was our first win, and we needed that,” added Coach Smith.

Pentucket (1-3) now has something to build on. 

Meanwhile, Georgetown (0-6) continues to chase that first W with a very young team.  How young?  Today they started six middle schoolers with the Royals only run today driven in by a seventh grader!

McKenzie Riley drove in the Georgetown run

Pentucket took control of this game in the first inning collecting five runs.

“We have been focusing on hitting,” said Coach Smith.  “Today it paid off.” Pentucket had eleven hits.

Five of Pentucket’s hits were in their productive first inning when Pentucket sent up ten batters.  Nikki Mitchell, Emma Lopata, Meg Hamel, Kayla Murphy, and Julia Daley all singled for the home team.

Georgetown coach Jay Santomassino thought that his team could have done better in the first inning.  “We needed to make a play or two to limit the runs they scored,” said Coach Santomassino.

Nikki Mitchell – 3 hits, 3 rbi

“We were much better defensively after that inning, but it was too late for us,” Coach Santomassino added.

Nikki Mitchell (3 rbi, 3 hits, 2 runs), Emma Lopata (3 rbi, 2 hits, 1 run), and Kayla Murphy (1 rbi, 3 hits, 1 run) put up the big numbers in the Pentucket offense.

“We’ve been working hard in practice to get better,” said senior Emma Lopata post-game.

While the hitting of Pentucket was very good, the pitching of freshman Molly LeBel was “very strong,” according to her coach.

“I was just trying to get it done out there,” said Molly afterwards.

Molly LeBel

Again, the stats confirm how successful she was. This game went the full seven innings and Molly had at least one strikeout in each inning. 

Innings four, five, and six were special.  Molly retired nine straight and eight of the outs were K’s.  “She was hitting her spots,” said Coach Smith.

While the Royals struggled to make contact, Pentucket started adding runs.  Emma Lopata drove in a run in the second on a fielder’s choice and two in the fourth on a loud double to left.  Freshman Kayla Murphy tripled in the third inning and scored on a wild pitch.  Nikki Mitchell knocked in two runs in the fifth inning with a single.

Pitcher Maddy Grant

The Pentucket bats were good, and their pitching was excellent.  Two things that will put a team into a good position to win a game.

The Royals (four hits) made solid contact in the seventh.  Gillian Figueroa rapped a double to left and McKenzie Riley followed with an RBI single to right.

Windy at Groveland Pines with temperatures falling as the game went on. 

Amesbury players were watching today’s action.

Pentucket seniors Emma Lopata (UMass Amherst) and Meg Hamel (Union) have settled on colleges.

Georgetown   0   0   0   0   0   0   1   =   1

    Pentucket    5   1   1   2   2   2   –   =  11

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Georgetown unofficial box
Pentucket unofficial box
Pentucket catcher Ella Agocs
2B Gillien Figueroa takes throw as Jocelyn Bickford slides in
Force-out at second
Shortstop Kayla Murphy throws to first
Georgetown 1B Ava Fair
Georgetown coach Jay Santomassino
Pitcher Maddy Grant throws to first
Kayla Murphy scores the 7th Pentucket run
Shortstop Alli Mansfield dives for a grounder
Shortstop Alli Mansfield
Pentucket 3B Emma Lopata
Kayla Murphy (three hits)
Play at second

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Ethan Hunt leads Pentucket to 7-4 win over Triton

Ethan Hunt pitched a 3-hitter and struck out nine
Cole Daniels slides home

(Groveland) “Great job by Ethan today,” said Pentucket coach Kevin Murray afterwards.

And who would argue unless all you saw was Triton’s half of the first inning?

Ethan Hunt settled in after that rocky start hitting a homer and pitching Pentucket (1-2) to a 7-4 win over Triton (0-3) on Saturday morning at the Pines Athletic Field.

“I came out feeling a little iffy but then I settled in,” recalled Ethan.

Joe Abt (3 RBI) and Griff Dupuis drove across runs for the Vikings in the first inning as Ethan struggled to throw strikes.

But Pentucket responded quickly.  After their first two batters (Trevor Kamuda & Kyle Ventola) got on, Ethan Hunt launched a 3-run shot to right that put the home team in front, 3-2.

Ethan Hunt after three-run homer in first inning

“My hitting approach the whole game was middle-away,” said Ethan.  “That home-run pitch was up and away.”

Joe Abt – 3 RBI

Triton fought back. A Joe Abt two-run double in the third inning returned Triton to the lead, 4-3.

Pentucket evened things on an infield error in the 5th as Trevor Kamuda scored the run.

Meanwhile, Ethan (the pitcher) had settled in.  The UMass Boston commit ended up retiring the last twelve Vikings in order.

“He was pretty much lights out those last four innings,” said Coach Murray.

Pentucket coach Kevin Murry

Ethan ended up with a 3-hitter striking out nine Vikings.

“I have been a pitcher who starts on the shaky end and then progresses well as the game goes on,” said Ethan. “My 12-6 was definitely on today.  I found location for my fastball later on.  Those two together kept hitters off-balance.”

Pentucket broke away from the tie with a three-run sixth inning as things fell apart for the Vikings.  After a Max Ligols double, Bryce Winter’s sacrifice-bunt attempt turned into a hit when no one covered first base.  Pinch-hitter Alex Robertson drove in the eventual game-winner with a wind-blown double to left and two wild pitches followed that allowed two more runs.

LF Jack Lindholm deals with tough wind in the Pentucket 6th inning

“The bunt was a big difference in the sixth inning,” said Triton coach Chris Lamothe.  “We weren’t ready for it.  It was my fault.”

“Tough loss but we battled,” he added. “Griff (Dupuis) gave us innings and kept them off-balance for a long time.  We’re back at it on Monday against North Reading.  DJ Watson will be pitching.”

Both teams entered the game looking for a W after two opening losses.  “It feels really good to get the first win,” said Pentucket catcher Kyle Ventola.  “We’ll build off this.  I think we’ll have a great season.”

Triton starter Griff Dupuis

Coach Lamothe: “Their pitcher settled down for the last four innings.  He dominated.  He had his fastball and his breaking ball working.  Not much we could do.”

Coach Murray: “Ethan settled in nicely.  We did a good job of making plays behind him.  He was throwing strikes.  When that happens, it gives us a chance to win.”

Today was a cloudy day with a threat of rain.  The wind is usually a factor at Pines.  High popups are always an adventure.

Every time I’m at this park, I get flashbacks to its Pines Speedway past.  I was there on occasion.  I remember Ollie Silva and Bentley Warren.  Okay, I’m old!

Triton          2   0   2   0   0   0   0   =   4

Pentucket   3   0   0   0   1   3   –    =   7

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Pentucket (unofficial) box
Triton (unofficial) box
Max Ligols led off the 3-run sixth inning with a double
Trevor Kamuda steals second – Connor Rumph takes throw
Triton coach Chris Lamothe
Pitcher Griff Dupuis sets to throw to first
Cole Daniels scored two runs
Play at first
Trevor Kamuda scored two runs
Cole Daniels leads off second base
Joe Abt and Trevor Kamuda
Will Roberts out stealing. Connor Rumph applies tag.

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Newburyport rallies past Pentucket 8-6

(Newburyport) “The start was rough,” said Newburyport Clipper defender Jack Hadden afterwards, “but I kept reminding the guys that it wasn’t over yet.”

“It was only 3-0 so there was obviously a comeback waiting,” he added.

Evan Napolitano takes a shot
Newburyport rolled after the first quarter

And there was as Newburyport (2-1) regrouped and went on to defeat Pentucket, 8-6, on Friday night.

“Pentucket is tough, and they won’t give you anything,” said Clippers coach Josh Wedge post-game.  “I don’t think we were fully ready to earn anything at the start of the game.”

In the first eight minutes, Pentucket (1-1) had unanswered goals from Joe Turpin, Ben Turpin, and Evan Napolitano.

“We came in confident because we won our opener on Saturday,” explained Pentucket coach Dan Leary.

Picking up the ball

Coach Leary wasn’t fooled, however, by the early three-goal lead.  “Newburyport is a very talented team,” he said.  “Being down three is nothing to them.”

In the second quarter, the Clippers showed the quality that enabled them to reach the D3 state semifinals last season.

“I was happy with how we played defense after that first quarter,” said Coach Wedge.

The Newburyport defense was tighter and shots on goal became tougher and tougher for Pentucket to create.

Will Gagnon and Nolan Cole

Cam Tinkham, Jack Hadden, and Jon Growth produced scores and had the game tied 3-3 at the half.

Ben Turpin notched his second goal just 1 ½ minutes into the second half and Newburyport needed to regroup again….which they did.

The next five goals belonged to the Clippers.

“We started slowly (again) but gradually found our rhythm,” said Coach Wedge.  “It wasn’t perfect by any means.”

Logan Jones

Ryan McHugh (3) and Owen Kruez (2) were the five-goal finishers for Newburyport.

“As the game went on, we got a little tired and made some mental mistakes in transition that hurt us,” added Coach Leary.  “A talented team like Newburyport will make you pay when you do that.”

“We just couldn’t stop the bleeding,” added Coach Leary referencing the Clippers run to an 8-4 lead.

Henry Hartford and Nolan Cole scored for Pentucket in the last thirty seconds of the game when things were a bit disorganized.

Ben Turpin and Nolan Cole

“In that second-to-last goal there were eleven players on the field,” said Coach Wedge.

“We have a lot of inexperienced guys,” said Coach Wedge.  “We are dressing twenty-nine players and sixteen are either freshmen or sophomores.  But we’re a scrappy team and we play good defense most of the time.  Our team is really good at picking the ball off the ground and we fight pretty hard for it.  What we don’t do enough of is valuing the ball.  Too many bad passes and dropped passes.”

Coach Josh Wedge

“We never quit today,” said Coach Leary.  “That’s all I can ask for.  Our team is always fired up to play Newburyport.”

There will be a rematch at Pentucket later in the season.

Coach Wedge: “Dan (Leary) does an unbelievable job.  I think he’s the most underrated coach around here.  They have low numbers but they’re ultra-competitive.  They know how to play the game.”

I asked Jack Hadden about his choice of the University of Albany to play lacrosse. “The minute I stepped onto the campus I know it was the place for me.  The team and the coaches were so welcoming.  At 12:01AM on September 1st, the first day they could recruit me, they reached out to me.  That meant a lot.  It was an obvious choice for me.”

The weather at Stehlin was pleasant with sunshine and temperatures near sixty.  I nearly froze at Pettingell the day before.

Newburyport   0   3   4   1   =   8

Pentucket         3   0   1   2   =   6

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Angus Webster
Coach Dan Leary
Duncan Coir
Joe Turpin chased by Brian Lucy
Cam Smith
Ryan Portalla
Jon Groth takes a shot
Cam Tinkham
Ball on the turf
Jack Hadden goal celebrated
Owen Kruez and Will Gagnon
Battle in front
Will Gagnon and Nolan Cole
Evan Napolitano chased by Clippers
Jon Groth in the middle
Ben Turpin

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Pentucket downs Ursuline 64-41

Abby Dube (15 points) guards freshman Alana Hogan
Waverly Smart and Alyssa Thompson (15 points)

(West Newbury MA) “Pentucket played amazing defense,” said Ursuline coach Morgan O’Donnell afterwards.

How many times have we heard that from opposing coaches?

Pentucket (17-3) rode their full-court pressure defense to a, 64-41, win over Ursuline Academy on Friday night.

The victory moves the Sachems into the Round of 16.  Their next opponent will be either Masconomet or North Quincy.  Those teams play tomorrow (Saturday).

Ava Karol (10 points) gets a rebound

A Masco win brings another game to West Newbury.

“We have bleachers we can bring in to meet the requirements for seating,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara.

Pentucket had a house full of fans and there was plenty to cheer about.

“It was loud in here,” said Coach O’Donnell.  “This atmosphere was tough to play in.”

Audrey Conover chases a loose ball

Pentucket shut out the Bears (10-10) for the first four minutes and put up nine unanswered points.  Four different players scored for Pentucket and all of them had layups.

Abby Dube and Alyssa Thompson were the game’s top scorers with fifteen points each. 

This was a night, however, when most of the Pentucket baskets had assists attached to them and most of the baskets were inside shots.

Lana Mickelson and Ava Karol

“There are no star players on the team,” said Lana Mickelson.  “We all work together.”

The Pentucket lead elevated to ten (27-17) in the second quarter after an Emma Lopata layup assisted by Audrey Conover.

The Sachems put a 12-2 run together in the third quarter, ending the run on an Abby Dube three-pointer.  The lead at that point had reached twenty (43-23) with a little under four minutes left in the third quarter.

Ava DiBurro reaches in

Both teams substituted liberally after that.

“I think our defense bothered them,” said Coach McNamara.  “It was our turnovers and quick shots on offense that kept them hanging around a bit.”

Credit Ursuline.  Despite trailing the entire game, the team from Dedham and the Catholic Conference kept plugging away in a hostile environment.

Ava DiBurro looks to pass

“Our kids came ready, and they played hard,” said Coach O’Donnell.  “That’s all I ask of them.”

Seniors Rebecca Morrill and Ava Karol paced the Bears with ten points each.

I was impressed with Ursuline freshman Alana Hogan.  Alana had seventeen points against Scituate.  Tonight, she was very good at handling the ball and continued to the basket if the opening was there.  Bright future.

The unselfish play of Pentucket was noticeable.  They executed penetrate-and-pass beautifully and ended up with many layups. 

Emma Lopata stands ready to take a charge

Senior captain Emma Lopata got two of the biggest reactions from the crowd when she drew two charges.

“Those can hurt,” she said, “and I was nervous about taking them because I had three fouls.”

Abby Dube ( three 3’s)

Abby Dube now has fifty three’s this season.

Pentucket is the #9 seed in Division 2. 

The seats were filled early and the enthusiasm for the home team was continuous.

“We love our fans,” said Emma. “It was fun playing in front of a huge crowd.”

“It was a messy game, but our team defense was pretty good,” said Ava DiBurro post-game.

Pentucket   15   16   16   17   =   64

Ursuline        7    12   10   12   =   41

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Pentucket box
Ursuline box
Bethany Cloutier
Audrey Conover in the lane
Ava DiBurro in for a layup
Lana Mickelson breaks in
Abby Dube passes
Gabby Bellacqua in the lane
Coach John McNamara
Alana Hogan
Abby Dube in front of the crowd

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