Tag Archives: Kayla Murphy

Pentucket wins tourney opener 16-1 over O’Bryant

Molly LeBel had a no-hitter with 16 strikeouts
Meghan Hamel scores Pentucket’s 11th run of the first inning

(Groveland) Molly LeBel was unhittable and her teammates had hits throughout the lineup.

Molly faced eighteen Tigers and struck out sixteen including the last eleven straight. The talented freshman reached 200 strikeouts for the season today.

Pentucket overwhelmed O’Bryant, 16-1, in a D3 Preliminary Round game that ended after 4 ½ innings.

“That was my best game yet,” said Molly after learning of the numbers she had put up.

“I realized early on that they weren’t catching up to the speed,” added Molly, “so I was just throwing straight down the middle.”

“She was a wonderful pitcher,” said O’Bryant coach Bridget Ryan post-game. The team from Roxbury and the Boston City League struggled to make contact most of the afternoon.

The Tigers manufactured a run in their first at-bats.  Freshman Rylee Hamblin scored the O’Bryant run.  Rylee walked, stole second, and reached third on a throwing error.  She came home on a wild pitch.

Coach Bridget Ryan and Rylee Hamblin at third base in the first inning

Down 1-0, the Panthers (12-9) put on a hitting show in their half of the first inning.  They sent sixteen batters to the plate, hit three doubles and four singles, and scored eleven runs.

Nikki Mitchell scored three times

Kendra Griffin and Bailey Stock each drove across two runs in the game-deciding starting inning.

“Everyone hit the ball really hard today,” said Pentucket coach Deb Smith afterwards.  “There were very few grounders.”

There were only two O’Bryant errors so almost all the runs were earned.

Pentucket added three more in the second.  Jocelyn Bickford had a two-run single while senior Emma Lopata put a scare into the visitors to the dog park beyond left field.

“I hit another homer earlier in the season to the same spot,” recalled Emma.  “This time, however, I think I hit a dog out there which wasn’t so good.”

Emma Lopata welcomed at home after a homer

Emma was back in the third inning with an RBI single while teammate Kayla Murphy scored Emma with a double in that same inning.

Rylee Hamblin

“We were missing three starters,” said Coach Ryan afterwards.  “They were on a field trip, so I had to put a lot of kids in different positions.  Pentucket, however, is a very good team.”

The Panthers advance to the next round on Tuesday (4PM) against Arlington Catholic.  I strongly suspect that #26 Pentucket will find #7 AC a bigger challenge than #39 O’Bryant was today.

The big adjustment for Pentucket in this game was replacing play-every-inning catcher Ella Agocs.  Freshman Jocelyn Bickford was given the assignment.

“Jocelyn did amazing,” said pitcher Molly LeBel.  “It was her first time behind the plate.  I was very impressed with her.”

Jocelyn Bickford

Jocelyn loved the next assignment.  “I had never done it before,” she said.  “It was so much fun.  You get a nice perspective of the game back there.”

“Both Molly and Jocelyn were awesome,” said Coach Smith.

Kayla Murphy (3 hits), Nikki Mitchell (3 runs), and Jocelyn Bickford (3 RBI) had the top stats for Pentucket.

The weather continues to prevent anyone from putting away the cold-weather gear.  Felt like an April game to me.

Nice to have players introduced and the National Anthem played.

   

O’Bryant   1   0   0   0   0   =   1

Pentucket   11   3   2   0    –   =   16

O’Bryant unofficial box

Pentucket unofficial box

Kayla Murphy had three hits

Pre-game watch

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Kayla Murphy hits two homers as Pentucket defeats Newburyport 7-5

Happiness at home for Pentucket
Kendra Griffin out at home

(Groveland) Home plate was where the action was.

Both Newburyport and Pentucket had runners thrown out there.

The biggest celebrating there, however, was done by Pentucket as they gathered twice to congratulate Kayla Murphy after home runs.

Pentucket (9-8) held on to get a 7-5 win over Newburyport (9-11) on Wednesday afternoon.

The Clippers took a 2-1 lead into the fourth inning.

Emma Lopata scored three times

In that fourth inning, Emma Lopata walked ahead of Kayla’s first home run to put the Panthers (their new mascot) in front for good.

Pentucket added another run in the fifth inning on an infield throwing error, before Kayla went deep again this time with Sydney Pichette and Kendra Griffin on board.

Kayla joked that she “wasn’t trying to get any of the dogs in the dog park,” (located just beyond the leftfield fence).

Emily Meleedy had eleven strikeouts for Newburyport

Both of Kayla’s homers landed in about the same spot in left center.  “I was looking for my pitch,” she said.  “The home run pitches were low in the strike zone.”

Sitting on a 7-2 lead going into the last inning seemed to be a comfortable situation for Pentucket.  After pitcher Molly LeBel retired the first two batters, things looked even more promising.

Credit Newburyport.  They weren’t planning to go quietly.  Five batters later the Clippers had the tying runs on the bases and the go-ahead run at the plate.

After an error on her first fielding chance of the inning, shortstop Kyla Murphy got a second chance and retired the last batter on an infield grounder.

Cassidy Bolcome heads for home

“I was hoping for one good play at the end, and I got it,” said Kayla afterwards.

“Everyone did their job,” said Pentucket coach Deb Smith, “and Kayla crushed it.”

One thing that Coach Smith didn’t want to do was pitch to Newburyport’s Emily Meleedy. Twice the talented sophomore received intentional passes.

“She’s in the middle of the Merrimack (River) if you pitch to her every time,” said Coach Smith.

A key play occurred in the fifth inning.  Newburyport had runners on second and third with two out.  Emily Meleedy was at the plate. Pentucket opted to intentionally walk her which would load the bases.  However, Molly LeBel’s attempt to finish off the intentional pass got beyond Pentucket catcher Ella Agocs.  Olivia Skibbee, who was on third base, broke for home but Ella’s flip to Molly covering home erased the runner and ended the inning. 

Olivia Skibbee tagged out by Molly LeBel

“That play was a turning point in this game,” said Coach Smith. 

Molly LeBel was the winning pitcher

Newburyport coach Bob Gillespie was disappointed with the loss.  “We have been making it a habit of needing comebacks after slow starts,” he said. 

“We have also struggled to win on the road,” he added.  The Clippers are now 2-7 away from home.

The Panthers are currently 7-1 at home.

The Clippers end the regular season 9-11.  The May 23rd Power Rankings for Division 3 had them at #21.  The top thirty-two get in the tournament.  You also get in if you win at least half your games.

Pentucket is now at 9-8 with three games left.  If they can win one of those games they’ll be in the tournament.  As of May 23rd, they are ranked #30 in Division 3.

Molly LeBel: “Even when things got tough in the last inning, I knew that the team had my back.  They have a lot of good hitters so mixing up my pitches was crucial.  I was throwing as hard as I could today.  I always try to do that but today I was actually doing it.”  Molly gave up seven hits and struck out four batters.

Sophia Lavallee had 2 hits and 2 RBI

Emily Meleedy struck out eleven but also gave up eleven hits.  “She is an unbelievable pitcher,” said Coach Smith.  “You have to go after her first pitch.  We told them to be aggressive today and we hit the ball hard.”

“The ending was shaky,” Coach Smith added, “but that seems to be our MO.  They want to give me a heart attack!”

Sophie Lavallee and Emily Meleedy paced Newburyport with two hits each.  Cassidy Bolcome and Emily each scored twice.

Kendra Griffin led Pentucket with three hits while Emma Lopata scored three times.

Newburyport centerfielder Nieve Morrissey made two nice catches in Pentucket’s sixth inning.  She ran in for one and raced back for the other.

Newburyport   0   0   0   2   0   0   3   =   5

      Pentucket   0    1   0   2   4   0   –   =   7

On April 28th Newburyport defeated Pentucket, 9-5 at Newburyport.  The Clippers built up an 8-0 lead after four innings before Pentucket rallied late to make things interesting at the end.

The Panthers have won three straight.

I continue to misread the weather.  It was sunny and pleasant.

Pentucket unofficial box

CF Nieve Morrissey makes a nice catch

Trouble with a popup
Kayla Murphy celebrates with her teammates
Newburyport unofficial box

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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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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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