Tag Archives: Emma Lopata

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Ipswich, Pentucket

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Georgetown, Pentucket

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Pentucket, Ursuline

Pentucket wins CAL title 63-45 over Newburyport

Great crowd on hand for tonight’s game
Abby Dube (19 points)

(Newburyport MA) “Everyone did their job, and it was fun to watch,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara afterwards.

Fun for the team from West Newbury for sure, as they defeated Newburyport, 63-45, in a big-stakes Cape Ann League game on Thursday night.

The win gave the Sachems (13-2) the CAL Kinney Division title.

“They won by ten last time,” said Abby Dube (19 points), “and we’ve been working so hard to beat them.”

The Clippers (14-2) started well.  Olivia McDonald’s three put them up, 11-5.  Later, two baskets by Makenna Ward (19 points) in the last minute extended the NHS lead to, 18-10, at the end of the quarter.

Makenna Ward (19 points)

The Clippers were making shots and gathering offensive rebounds when they didn’t.

It took a backup defense and some life off the bench to turn things around for Pentucket.

“We don’t use that zone defense a lot, but we did tonight and I think it got them out of their rhythm,” said Coach McNamara.

The offensive rebounds decreased for the Clippers and their top scorer (Emma Foley) had to deal with multiple defenders on each possession.

Gabby Bellacqua (14 points)

“We put the first quarter behind us and played to win the next three quarters,” said Abby Dube.

The pleasant surprises off the bench were Bethany Cloutier and Ava DiBurro. 

Bethany gave Pentucket its first lead of the game (22-21) with an old-fashioned three-point play with two minutes left in the second quarter.

Ava DiBurro (11 points)

Ava (11 points) was the biggest surprise of all. In the most important game of the season, she came in, fit in, and produced points.

“Ava’s a talented kid,” said Coach McNamara.  “We’ve been waiting for this to happen.  Ava sure picked a great night to have a breakout game.  She has good finishing skills.”

Pentucket led by four, 26-22, at the half.

The Clippers got a terrific start to the second half.  They regained the lead (27-26) after just a minute. 

Deirdre McElhinney (10 points)

But an Abby Dube layup put Pentucket back in front (28-27) thirty seconds later and they would build on that lead the rest of the way.

A big problem for the home team in the third quarter was foul trouble.  Both Makenna Ward and Emma Foley (10 points) picked up their 4th fouls and lost time on the floor.  Both girls can score and defend, and the Clippers lost a lot in both categories with them on the bench.

Pentucket pushed their advantage to six (33-27) in the third quarter on two Alyssa Thompson (10 points) free throws.

Lana Mickelson

With Makenna on the bench for the final two minutes of the quarter, the Sachems turned that six-point lead into a twelve-point lead (46-34) by the end of the quarter.  Lana Mickelson contributed two layups and Abby Dube nailed a jump shot just before the quarter-ending buzzer.

Early in the final quarter, Makenna Ward and Deirdre McElhinney (10 points) hit consecutive three’s to cut the Pentucket lead to nine (50-41) with 6 ½ minutes left.  A quick timeout by Coach McNamara was followed by eleven straight points by the Sachems.  Ava DiBurro finished the run with two straight inside scores giving Pentucket a twenty-point lead (61-41).

Olivia McDonald plays defense

Newburyport was undefeated at home (7-0) before tonight’s loss.

Emma Lopata: “We had really good energy from start to finish.  The team is always supportive of each other.”

Abby Dube: “It felt amazing to win this one.  We knew we could do it.”

Audrey Conover: “It was definitely a high-energy game.  I think that our defense was the key tonight.  Abby (Dube) really pulled through on offense.  She was making everything.”

Alyssa Thompson: “We started off slow.  We talked at halftime about working together as a team.  We then passed the ball more.”

Alyssa Thompson (10 points)

Ava DiBurro: “We really wanted to beat them.  I just tried to do what the team needed me to do.  I’m playing better, but there are things I need to work on.”

Coach McNamara: “Newburyport is a good team.  They should make a deep run in the tournament.  From the second quarter on we played really good basketball.  We took care of the ball, and we minimized our turnovers.”

Great crowd from both schools.  The crowd was mostly adults.  Absent, but not missed by me, was the chanting that goes on when the crowd is dominated by students.

Emma Foley (10 points)

Both teams are in Division 2.  Back in the day, only one of them could have made it out of the North sectionals.  That changes now with the MIAA state-wide power rankings determining the seeding.  Pentucket is currently listed behind Newburyport in those rankings but that will change after tonight’s game.

Pentucket         10   16   20   17   =   63

Newburyport   18     4   12   11   =   45

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Chasing a loose ball
Abby Dube in the lane
Ava DiBurro
Pentucket box
Newburyport box
Audrey Conover guarded by Olivia McDonald
Deirdre McElhinney drives
Pentucket celebrates
Pentucket celebrates CAL Kinney title

Leave a comment

Filed under Newburyport, Pentucket