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Newburyport wins D2 North softball tourney opener 4-3 over Marblehead

Newburyport celebrates 4-3 win over Marblehead in D2 North tourney opener

Newburyport celebrates 4-3 win over Marblehead in D2 North tourney opener

(Marblehead)  Newburyport reached the Sweet Sixteen of Division 2 North with a tight, 4-3, win over Marblehead on a very hot Thursday afternoon.

The Clippers (15-6) now gets a third try against Amesbury.  This time in the D2 North quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon (3PM) at Amesbury Middle School.

Vicki Allman tossed a three-hitter and had two hits herself

Vicki Allman tossed a three-hitter and had two hits herself

Vicki Allman pitched a complete-game, three-hitter for Newburyport in the do-or-die atmosphere of tournament play.

The #10-seed Clippers put four of their nine hits together in the top of the sixth inning to collect two runs and get the lead (4-3) for good.

Marblehead (#7 seed) threatened in the bottom of the seventh.  Pinchrunner McKenzie Joyce stole second with two outs but Vicki Allman got Emily Promise to foul out to first baseman Carley Siemasko to end the threat and Marblehead’s season.

Newburyport jumped in front with a run in the first.  Lauren Singer drilled a triple off Magician past leftfielder Allison Kapoll.  Lea Tomasz singled through the hole between short and third driving Lauren home.

Marblehead (14-7) didn’t get a hit until the fourth inning but that didn’t stop them from getting two runs in the first off a very shaky Newburyport defense in their half of the first inning.  A two-out bobble by shortstop Kendra Dow extended the inning.  Two batters later,  leftfielder Ashley Hodge dropped a fly ball allowing both Anistasia Vainis and McKenzie Joyce to score.

Things got a little weird in the Clippers half of the second inning.  Newburyport loaded the bases (a Sarah Bornstein error was in the mix) with one out.  Kendra Dow struck out but catcher Emily Messinger dropped the ball and Shelby O’Brien scored from third (barely…….Why didn’t she slide?) to tie the score at 2-2.

Lea Tomasz eyes a line drive

Lea Tomasz eyes a line drive

Two more Clippers errors in the Marblehead fourth put the Magicians up by a run.  Centerfielder Lea Tomasz tried for a two-out shoestring catch but Rachel McKay’s line drive got past her enabling Rachel to reach second.  Third baseman Meghan Stanton then threw away Alexa Brown’s grounder allowing Rachel to cross with Marblehead’s third run.

That run started to look like a game-winner after the Clippers went quietly in the fifth and then made an out to start the sixth.

However, Newburyport then had consecutive singles by Casey Barlow, Carley Siemasko, and Shelby O’Brien to tie the score.  Shelby sent a 2-strike pitch to center for the RBI.  Another single (Vicki Allman) loaded the bases with one out.  Jackie Krusemark’s fly ball delivered Carley Siemasko from third (barely……Why didn’t she slide?) with what turned out to be the winning run.

Carley Siemasko tags up as leftfielder Allison Kapoll prepares to throw to the plate

Carley Siemasko tags up as leftfielder Allison Kapoll prepares to throw to the plate

Carley Siemasko scores

Carley Siemasko scores

Lea Tomasz, Shelby O’Brien, and Vicki Allman had two hits each for Newburyport.

Rachel McKay had two hits for Marblehead.

Michaela Leblanc was ruled out for interference leading off the fourth inning.  Catcher Lauren Singer’s throw on a bunt hit Michaela in fair territory.

Lea Tomasz was ruled out on an appeal play for leaving third base too early on a one-out fly ball in the third inning.

Sarah Bornstein

Sarah Bornstein

Third baseman Sarah Bornstein made a nice play on a line drive in the fourth inning for Marblehead.

The game was delayed in the fifth inning as Lauren Singer was tended to.

There was a breeze but the heat (high 80’s) was oppressive.

The playing field at the middle school was in excellent condition.

Yes, there were two Newburyport infield errors, but they also handled eleven other infield chances flawlessly.

Emily Messinger popped out to first baseman Carley Siemasko all three times she batted.

A big play in this game was in the final inning.  After Rachel McKay singled, Alexa Brown hit a grounder past pitcher Vicki Allman.  It looked like Newburyport trouble but shortstop Kendra Dow reacted quickly and got a force play at second.

Third baseman Meghan Stanton throws a strike to first

Third baseman Meghan Stanton throws a strike to first

Two years ago I saw Marblehead eliminate Triton (at Triton) 7-1.  Michaela Leblanc pitched that day.  Junior Michaela holds the Marblehead school record with 32 wins.

A very good North Reading team went out again in the opening round (5-2 to Reading).  Last year the Hornets were the #1 seed and lost to Saugus after having the Sachems down, 5-1, in the last inning.  Ouch!

On May 1st, Amesbury put an 18-0 mercy rule game on Newburyport.  The Indians had an 18-batter, 13-run second inning in that one.  Vicki Allman was hit hard (18 hits) and the Clippers defense was weak.  However, the pressure could be on the #2 seed Indians playing at home.  The game is sure to be interesting.

Newburyport boxscore

Marblehead boxscore

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

Rachel McKay had two hits and scored a run

Rachel McKay had two hits and scored a run

Carley Siemasko, McKenzie Joyce and Coach John Gold in the 7th inning

Carley Siemasko, McKenzie Joyce and Coach John Gold in the 7th inning

Casey Barlow

Casey Barlow

Kendra Dow

Kendra Dow

Shelby OBrien

Shelby OBrien

Olivia Vener

Olivia Vener

Lauren Singer tripled in the first

Lauren Singer tripled in the first

Michaela Leblanc throws out Lauren Singer at first

Michaela Leblanc throws out Lauren Singer at first

Kendra Dow snags a liner in the third inning

Kendra Dow snags a liner in the third inning

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Pentucket wins 18th defeating Newburyport 60-29 in girls basketball

Kelsi McNamara (12 points) breaks clean to the basket

Kelsi McNamara (12 points) breaks clean to the basket

Coley Viselli (10 points) gets an open three

Coley Viselli (10 points) gets an open three

(Newburyport) Normally it’s the pressure defense that gets you when you face the Pentucket Sachems.

Not so tonight.  It was an on-fire Pentucket offense.

Newburyport (10-7) had no defensive answers and were defeated, 60-29, by the defending Division 3 state champs on Tuesday night in Cape Ann League action.

The girls from West Newbury took great care of the ball (three turnovers in the first half) and made shots from everywhere.

Pentucket (18-1) had the long ball going early.  Four minutes into the first quarter three different Sachems (Alex Moore, Kelsi McNamara, and Coley Viselli) clicked from downtown.  That barrage of 3-point offense helped put the Clippers behind, 13-2, and there was no recovery.

The visitors closed the quarter with yet another three (Alex Moore) and two Tess Nogueira layups and the rout was on, 24-7, after one period.

Tess Nogueira (10 points) gets loose inside

Tess Nogueira (10 points) gets loose inside

It was one of those games where no matter what defense NHS coach Greg Dollas tried ran into trouble.  He used a zone and Pentucket made three’s.  He played man-to-man and the Sachems blew past one-on-one defenders for easy layups.  It was a defensive nightmare for the Clippers, plain and simple.

In the second quarter the 3’s were key in another Pentucket run of points.  With the score, 28-10, after three minutes, the Sachems put a 10-2 package in place over the next four minutes.  Three-pointers by Alex and Coley as well as layups by Coley and McKenna Kilian provided the points.  The Sachem advantage was extended to, 38-12, in the process, with a minute left.

The rest of the game was played mostly by reserves on both teams.  Pentucket only had a 22-16 edge during the rest of the game but that was probably little consolation to anyone connected to the Newburyport program.

All of the Pentucket starters reached double figures in limited minutes: Kelsi McNamara (12), Alex Moore (11), Tess Nogueira (10), Coley Viselli (10), and McKenna Kilian (10).

Emily Pettigrew blocks the shot of Coley Viselli

Emily Pettigrew blocks the shot of Coley Viselli

Newburyport had ten girls score with the Pettigrew sisters (Mary and Emily) leading the way with four points each.

The Sachems connected on nine three-pointers.  Reserve Kassidy Kennefick nailed two in the 4th quarter.

In the previous meeting between the two teams on January 4th at West Newbury, the Sachems rode Kelsi McNamara’s four 3’s to a, 61-33, win.

Newburyport, which has qualified for the state tournament, finishes its regular season on Thursday against Masconomet at Masconomet.

Pentucket will be hosting Hamilton-Wenham on the same night in what should be an emotional Seniors Day for the Sachems.  Key pieces in the Pentucket success over the past few seasons (Alex Moore, Tess Nogueira, Coley Viselli, and Emily Dresser) will be honored.

Newburyport recognized its seniors tonight – Lea Tomasz, Rebecca Kell, and Casey Barlow.

Lea Tomasz

Lea Tomasz

Casey Barlow

Casey Barlow

Rebecca Kell

Rebecca Kell

Casey had her left hand wrapped but that didn’t stop the usual lefthander from making two free throws with her right hand.

Newburyport boxscore

Pentucket boxscore

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



action under the basket

action under the basket

Aly Leahy heads for the hoop

Aly Leahy heads for the hoop

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Winchester runs its shutout streak to three games defeating Newburyport 2-0 in Division 2 North softball

Rory Connolly beating out a bunt in the first inning. She would later score the first Winchester run on an Emma Morton double.

Winchester celebrates a trip to the D2 North finals

(Lowell)  The Winchester Sachems added seven more shutout innings to their 2012 post-season run as they defeated Newburyport, 2-0, on overcast Thursday night at Martin Field in the Division 2 North semi-finals.

Winchester (16-5) will get either Dracut or Danvers on Sunday afternoon at Martin Field for the D2 North title.

The Sachems have shut out all three opponents in the D2 tournament and it was easy to see during four hitless innings that sophomore pitcher Rachel Smith was part of the reason.  Rachel recorded five of her six strikeouts in the first four innings.

Winchester jumped off to a 1-0 lead in the first.  Rory Connolly led off with a bunt single and reached third after a sacrifice bunt (Anne DeRosa) and a fielder’s choice (Rachel Smith).  Junior Emma Morton ripped a double to right center scoring Rory.

Newburyport (13-10) from the Cape Ann League came to life in the final three innings.  All four of their hits came during that segment and they stranded six runners.

Julia Staffiere – her triple drove in a run in the fifth

During the fifth inning Winchester added a second run.  Maddie Lepore reached on a flair behind first with no outs.  Andrea Cantalupa came on as a courtesy runner for Maddie.  Julia Staffiere delivered Andrea with a hot shot over the third base bag that rolled all the way to the left field corner for a triple.  Julia’s RBI gave the #7 seeded Sachems a 2-0 lead heading into the final two innings.

That lead would be severely threatened by the Clippers in the final two frames.

Newburyport (#14 seed) loaded the bases in the sixth.  Singles by Kendra Dow and Lea Tomasz were followed by Rachel Smith’s bobble of a Carley Siemasko grounder with two outs.  Rachel recovered from the error to retire Beth Castantini on a routine fly ball to center to end the bases-loaded threat.

The Clippers took another run at the Sachems in the seventh.  Newburyport had two loud outs (Maddy Stanton liner to center & Casey Barlow’s shot that shortstop Catherine Pitts speared) as well as a walk (Vicky Allman) and a single (Jackie Krusemark).  But again Winchester escaped being scored on as Kendra Dow grounded out to second to end the game.

Molly Rowe and Beth Castantini

Beth Castantini had a strong outing in her final endeavor as a Newburyport Clipper allowing only five hits.  She also struck out five Sachems and walked no one.

Catcher Emma Morton stroked two doubles and had several long-distance foul balls for the team from the Middlesex League.

Kendra Dow hurt her leg lunging for first on the last out of the Clipper season.

Clipper catcher Lauren Singer made a nice catch of a foul pop in the fourth inning.

Maddie Lepore saves a run with this two-out catch in the third inning.

Maddie Lepore jumped to make a run-saving catch in right field in the third inning.  Casey Barlow was on second for the Clippers at the time after reaching on shortstop Catherine Pitts’ two-base throwing error.

The weather?  Downpour an hour before game time delayed the ending of the Mystic Valley/Matignon game.  By the time the Clipper/Sachem game started the rain had stopped but threatening clouds had me wondering when the next deluge would drop.  But thankfully, the rain stayed away.

Winchester box score

Newburyport box score

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

Emma Morton – two doubles and an RBI

Anne DeRosa tosses to first for the final out of the game

Lauren Singer corrals a popup

Rachel Smith – four-hitter with six strikeouts

season-ending walkoff

watching the action

Kendra Dow and Lea Tomasz

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Amesbury hangs on to defeat Newburyport, 7-6, in Cape Ann League softball

Newburyport seniors Beth Castantini, Molly Rowe, and Maddy Stanton after playing their last home game.

Cassie Schultz waits for Casey Barlow to arrive

(Newburyport) The Amesbury Indians (15-4) swept the season series with Newburyport on the strength of a 7-6 win at Perkins Playground on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon in Cape Ann League softball.

Newburyport (10-8) gave away five runs in the field during the first two innings but came back with their bats to nearly pull this one out in the bottom of the seventh.

This was the last regular season home game for Newburyport’s three seniors (Beth Castantini, Molly Rowe, and Maddy Stanton) and they were honored by NHS coach Lori Solazzo before the game.

Sophomore Amanda Schell was the hitting star for the Indians collecting four RBI including two in Amesbury’s 2-run sixth.  Those two runs provided the winning margin as the Clippers tallied two runs in the bottom of the seventh to get within one run.

Amanda Schell – two hits and four RBI

In their previous meeting, Amesbury won 9-2 on April 24th.  That time around starter Carolina Merrill tossed a 4-hitter to get the victory.  This time around Newburyport stroked thirteen hits but could never get more than two runs in an inning.

The first inning was not pretty for either team defensively.  I counted five throwing errors by some normally reliable infielders on both teams.  Second baseman Alexis Boswell had a bobble on a potential inning-ending grounder.

When the defensive dust settled Amesbury led, 4-2, after one inning.

The Indians picked up another tainted run in the second.  A two-out, strikeout by Molly Rowe got past catcher Lauren Singer and Janine Fatal raced home with Amesbury’s fifth run.

Newburyport trailed, 5-2, going into the bottom of the fourth but ran themselves out of a promising inning.  A Casey Barlow single to left was followed by Lauren Singer’s single to right sending Casey to third with one out.  Amy Sullivan was put in as a courtesy runner for Lauren.  Amy tried to steal second but Indian catcher Cassie Schultz threw a strike to Amanda Schell to nab Amy.  Casey Barlow broke for home as the play at second was completed and Amanda threw a strike back to Cassie getting Casey by plenty.

The Clippers picked up two runs in the fifth to close to 5-4.  Kendra Dow singled and reached third after two infield outs.  Carley Siemasko brought Kendra home with a single to left.  Later it was Beth Castantini delivering Lea Tomasz with a single up the middle.

Janine Fatal scores an Amesbury run

Amesbury answered with two runs of their own in the sixth.  A walk (Rachel Cyr) and a single (Alexis Boswell) forced a Clipper pitching change as Beth Castantini replaced Molly Rowe.  After Alexis stole second Amanda Schell hit a loud double to left center deep enough to score both runners.

Newburyport made things interesting in their last at-bats.  They got runners (Lea Tomasz and Carley Siemasko) on first and second with two outs.  Senior Beth Castantini drove in Lea and fellow senior Maddy Stanton brought home Carley.  But that’s where the comeback ended as AHS pitcher Carolina Merrill got Vicki Allman to pop out to first baseman McKenzie Cloutier.

Janine Fatal and Amanda Schell each had two hits to pace Amesbury.  Janine and Alexis Boswell both scored two runs.

Carley Siemasko – had three hits and scored two runs

Freshman Carley Siemasko had three hits for the Clippers while Kendra Dow, Lea Tomasz, and Beth Castantini collected two hits.  Beth had two RBI.

Third baseman Maddy Stanton turned a pop fly into a double play in the 4th inning.

Indian pitcher Carolina Merrill had Lea Tomasz’ line drive go off her leg in the 7th inning.

A dog joined the action in the 4th inning even bringing along his own ball.

Amesbury has a 15-4 season going with no seniors.  The Indians close their regular season tomorrow (Thursday) at St. Mary’s.

The Clippers will be involved in the North Andover tournament starting on Friday.

Both Amesbury and Newburyport have qualified for the post-season tournament.  The Clippers will be playing on the road whereas the Indians may get a home game or two.

I can report now that this game was not at Cashman or Bresnahan?  Only an individual who had gone to both places could give you that sort of information.

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

NHS coaches Mark Rowe and Lori Solazzo

Amanda Schell jumps for second as Kendra Dow reaches for the throw

ready to play

Pitcher Molly Rowe fires to first as Maddy Stanton and AHS coach Chris Perry watch

Lea Tomasz beats the tag of AHS catcher Cassie Schultz

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Newburyport gets walkoff win 3-2 over North Andover in Cape Ann League softball

Lea Tomasz scores the game-winner in the 8th inning as Beth Castantini watches

(Newburyport)  The Newburyport Clippers (8-6) scored an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth to walk off to a 3-2 win over North Andover (4-8) on Friday afternoon in Cape Ann League softball action.

Runs were hard to come by in this one although NA had two quick ones in the first. The Clippers had a run in the first and another in the 4th.

There were plenty of base runners, thanks to seventeen hits and six walks, but both pitchers (Beth Castantini and Kim Crucioli) successfully pitched out of jams most of the afternoon.

Carley Siemasko hustles down the first base line in the 8th inning.

In the game-ending inning, Lea Tomasz led off with a single up the middle.  Molly Rowe’s infield grounder got Lea to second.  Carley Siemasko then hit a full-swing dribbler to pitcher Kim Crucioli’s left.  Carley hustled down the line and the play was going to be close at first.  However, Kim’s throw was high and went off the top of first baseman Haley Kosheff’s glove into right field allowing Lea Tomasz to come across with the winning run.

The way North Andover started the game you never would have expected such an outcome.  Their first two batters (Sara McCarthy and Courtney Green) doubled and the Knights quickly had a run.  Two batters later, Gwen Vozeolas blooped a two-strike single down the right field line and NA had a second run.

Sara McCarthy touches home with the first Knight run.

But thereafter the Knights would only threaten and fall short.  They left runners on in every inning but the second.  They had a runner (Sara McCarthy) on third with one out in the seventh and runners on second (Haley Kosheff) and third (Jaclyn Decologero) with two outs in the eighth.  Newburyport pitcher Beth Castantini induced infield grounders to escape both threats.

Newburyport picked up their first run in the first inning.  Kendra Dow walked, stole second on a close play, and came home on Lea Tomasz’s double to right center.

The Clippers tied the game in the fourth.  Molly Rowe hit a bloop down the right field line that Jess Bramanti couldn’t quite reach.  Molly ended up on third on the play and Carley Siemasko’s single to right brought in Molly with the tying run.

Newburyport nearly won the game in the bottom of the seventh.  Jackie Krusemark was on first after a walk with two outs.  Maddie Stanton ripped a line drive to left that leftfielder Gwen Vozeolas was able to stop at the last second.  If that ball had gotten past Gwen I am quite certain that Jackie would have scored to end the game.

Maddie Stanton

Maddie Stanton made two big plays in the fourth.  First the third baseman dove to snag a bunt attempt.  Later she dove for third to get a force out.

NA starter Kim Crucioli feasted on the bottom third of the Clipper lineup getting all seven of her strikeouts there.

Winning pitcher Beth Castantini K’d five Knights.

CAL All-Leaguer Sara McCarthy paced NA with two hits.

Junior Lea Tomasz, senior Molly Rowe, and freshman Carley Siemasko each had two hits for the Clippers.

North Andover faces their neighborhood rival, Andover, tomorrow at home at 10AM.

Newburyport’s next game will be at Georgetown on Monday afternoon.

The weather started out cloudy (Will it rain?) and changed to warm (Why did I bring this jacket?).

Newburyport boxscore

North Andover boxscore

(The pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Kim Crucioli

Lea Tomasz singles in the 8th

Courtney Green scores second NA run

Gwen Vozeolas

Jess Bramanti lunges for Molly Rowe fly ball in the 4th

Angela Logomasini snow cone

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Triton plays well in softball win (6-3) over Newburyport

Amy Sullivan tries for third as Kelsey Trudel prepares to throw her out.

Cori Simons struck out four and had two hits.

(Newburyport) Triton combined flawless fielding with a Cori Simons six-hitter and started the Cape Ann League regular season with a 6-3 win over Newburyport on Wednesday afternoon at Cashman Park.

The senior-less Vikings (2-5) tallied three runs in the first and never trailed.  The Clippers (3-4) got within a run in the fourth but a collection of loud outs with runners in scoring position, and base running gaffes, kept them from getting closer.

Newburyport ended three innings with loud outs to the outfield with runners aboard.  They also ran into a double play in the seventh on a rope to shortstop Shannon Sinton.

Triton had nine hits off of Molly Rowe including four in the first and another three in the fifth.  Bunching those hits produced five Viking runs.

In the Triton first, Shannon Sinton and Jeanne Martin had singles off second baseman Amy Sullivan’s glove.  An inch or two either way and they would have been outs but on this day Shannon eventually scored (passed ball) and Jeanne drove in Kelsey Trudel with the third Viking run.

Lea Tomasz slides under the tag of Rose Gaffins.

Newburyport got two back in their half of the fourth.  Lea Tomasz delivered Carley Siemasko with a long double to left.  Lea took third on the throw to the plate and came home on a passed ball.

Triton came right back with two in the fifth.  A perfectly executed sacrifice bunt by Shannon Sinton put Mara Spears in scoring position.  Cori Simons’ single to right brought Mara in with Run #4.  Cori then stole second, reached 3rd on a fielder’s choice and came in on a controversial (was it fair?) flair near the right field line.

Several bad throws gave the Vikings a gift run in the 7th with pinch runner Ashley Shute scoring on Lily Anderson’s single to deep short.

Down by four in their last at-bats, the Clippers had the makings of a big rally after a double (Molly Rowe) and a single (Beth Castantini) turned up a run with no outs.  But Sam Wahlgren’s line drive was right at shortstop Shannon Sinton and she turned it into a double play.  Cori Simons finished the game recording her fourth strikeout.

Aggressive base running was good news/bad news for Amy Sullivan.  The sophomore second baseman stole second in the six inning but got caught easily trying to take third on the overthrow.

Newburyport has played six of its first seven games at home.  They will play at Manchester-Essex on Friday.

Triton will face Rockport at home on Friday.

Had the weather trifecta at Cashman – cloudy, rainy, and sunny.

Kendra Dow makes a running catch as teammate Sam Wahlgren looks for a deflection.

Amy Sullivan and Kendra Dow had nice catches on popups.

Cori Simons, Lily Anderson, and Kelsey Trudel each had two hits for Triton.  Beth Castantini had two for Newburyport.

On the controversial (Is it fair?) fly to right in the Triton sixth inning, the home plate umpire had to make the call.  The problem was that he was looking over/around several players to do it.  Where was the other ump?  Because there were runners on base, he wasn’t on the first base line.

Triton boxscore

Newburyport boxscore

(The pictures above and below enlarge if you click on them.)

Triton coach Jim Hounam

Mara Spears

Carley Siemasko chases controversial fly ball

Molly Rowe

Lauren Singer & Cori Simons

Maddie Stanton

Kelsey Trudel

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Newburyport wins softball opener (3-2) over Lynnfield

Beth Castantini moves in to catch a deflection off of the glove of Maddie Stanton.

(Newburyport)  The Newburyport Clippers hung on to defeat Lynnfield, 3-2,  at cloudy, windy Cashman Park on Monday afternoon in nonleague action.

Not until dangerous Mel Mancinelli’s pop nestled into Clipper second baseman Jackie Krusemark’s glove for the final out was this game a W for the home team.

The inning before (6th) Mel had slammed a very long triple to deep centerfield and in this at bat had teammates on first and third trailing by a run.

But the Clippers survived to win their season opener as well as an initial win for new coach Lori Solazzo.

For the Clippers. retiring Mel Mancinelli for the last out was important but maybe even more important was a throw from centerfielder Lea Tomasz to catcher Lauren Singer that nailed Julia Goldstein for the final out of the sixth inning.  The Pioneers had to settle for two runs, and a tie score, in that inning.

Catcher Lauren Singer fields the throw from Lea Tomasz


Julia Goldstein tagged out at the plate.

Newburyport pushed across the actual game winner in the bottom of the sixth.  Maddie Stanton singled to center and reached third after a passed ball and a fielder’s choice.  Kendra Dow’s single to right drove Maddie home.

The Clippers picked up their other two runs in the 4th.  The wind/dust seemed to catch up to Pioneer right fielder Julia Sheehan and she dropped a catchable fly ball off Beth Castantini’s bat and she reached third.  Lea Tomasz scored the Clipper’s first run on the 3-base error.  Later Maddie Stanton drove Beth across for run #2.

Mel Mancinelli tripled in the 6th inning

That 2-0 lead held up until the sixth when the Pioneers tied the score.  Mel Mancinelli was delivered by Amanda McQueen’s single.  Two wild pitches later Amanda was on third and from there came home on Jackie Whelan’s single.

Pioneer Amanda LaSpina was called out for runner interference in the 3rd against first baseman Molly Rowe while Molly was nailed with the same call interfering with shortstop Katie Rowe in the 4th.

Centerfielder Sarah Flood made a nice running catch in the 5th on Beth Castantini’s sinking liner.

Winning pitcher Beth Castantini finished with seven K’s getting at least one in every inning except the seventh.

The umpires had both teams hollering in the seventh inning as close plays went the wrong way depending on the sideline you were on.

Beth Castantini struck out seven

Jackie Whelan scattered six hits for Lynnfield.  She also drove in a run.

Lea Tomasz, Maddie Stanton, and Kendra Dow had two hits each for Newburyport.

Lynnfield (1-1) hosts Ipswich on Wednesday.

Newburyport (1-0) returns to Cashman Park on the same day to play North Reading.

Lynnfield probably should have guessed it wasn’t their day in the 4th inning when Jackie Whelan’s popup bounced off of Maddie Stanton’s glove into Beth Castantini’s.

April games at Cashman are always challenging.  Today, however, was windier than usual and every now and then the infield dust would swirl toward the Lynnfield side of the field.

Former NHS coach Peter Murray was an interested spectator.

Newburyport box score

Lynnfield box score

(The pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Sam Wahlgren

ball gets away from Julia Sheehan

Lea Tomasz forced at second by Katie Rowe

Second baseman Jackie Krusemark gets final out.

Catcher Lauren Singer prepares her equipment

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Newburyport Rallies Over Arlington 6-5 in D2 North Softball With 3-Run Seventh

Sam Wahlgren get congrats from JV teammate Casey Barlow at game’s end after Sam delivered a key hit in the final inning.

Taylor Summit heads home with the game-winner in the bottom of the seventh.

(Newburyport) Plenty of excitement at Cashman Park on Saturday afternoon as Newburyport defeated Arlington, 6-5, in the first round of Division 2 North softball.

There were five lead changes and the Clippers (17-4) entered their last at-bats trailing, 5-3, after the Spy Ponders (there is a pond in Arlington called Spy Pond!) had grabbed the lead with three runs in the top of the 7th.

Lea Tomasz led the final inning with a single to right.  She reached second on a fielder’s choice and third on a passed ball.  Rachel Webster earned a 2-strike walk on a pitch that went past the Arlington catcher.  Lea scored Newburyport’s 4th run on that wild pitch.  Kendra Dow reached on a fielder’s choice but the Clippers were down to their last out.  The Clippers, in fact, got down to their last strike with their next batter (Taylor Summit) before she singled to center sending Kendra to 3B with two outs.

Still with two outs, junior varsity call-up Sam Wahlgren drilled a shot to left easily scoring Kendra from third with the tying run.  The other runner on the bases, (Taylor Summit) was off from first on contact with two outs and looked content to pull up at third on Sam’s hit but when Arlington botched the relay Taylor flew home with the game winner and scored standing up.

Kaleigh Tomaszewski reaches third on Courtney Sacca’s double in the second inning.

This was a game with plenty of hitting (each team had ten hits) and plenty of opportunities to score (runners were stranded by both teams in every inning).

Arlington (12-9) picked up three runs in the top of the seventh on five hits.  A key piece of strategy was when NHS coach Peter Murray’s opted to walk the very dangerous Courtney Sacca (two doubles) to load the bases with two outs.  Pitcher Beth Castantini got the next batter (Kayleen McLaughlin) to pop to second to limit Arlington to three runs and a 2-run (5-3) advantage.

Another piece of strategy that also worked was Coach Murray’s willingness to use the sophomore from the JV’s (Sam Wahlgren) in the last two innings.  She delivered hits in both innings and had plenty to do with extending Newburyport’s season into Monday when they will travel to play #4 seed Reading (18-3) in the D2 North quarter finals.  The MIAA site currently has game-time listed at 3:45 AM!  I suspect that time will be changed.

Kayleen McLaughlin out at home in the second.

Cassie Davis out at home in the first.

Sophomore leadoff batter Kaitlyn Morse led Arlington hitters with three singles.  She also scored a run.  Courtney Sacca had two doubles and also scored a run.

For Newburyport, Lea Tomasz, Taylor Summit, and Sam Wahlgren had two hit’s apiece.  Each of them had a key hit in the crucial seventh inning.  Lea ended up scoring three times while Taylor reached home twice including the seventh inning game winner.

Newburyport opened the scoring in the first as Cassie Davis’ triple to left drove in Maddy Stanton who had singled.  Later in the same inning Cassie was thrown out at the plate attempting to score in a delayed fashion after Kendra Dow had bunted.

Leah Tomasz – two hits and scored three runs

Arlington jumped into the lead in the second inning with two runs, one of them unearned.  Kaleigh Tomaszewski walked, went to third on Courtney Sacca’s double and scored on Kayleen McLaughlin’s single.  Courtney came around to score when Taylor Summit dropped a throw covering first.

Newburyport tied the score with a single run in the 4th.  Taylor Summit singled to center, reached second on a passed ball, and scored on Eleni Kacher’s single on the ground into right field.

The Clippers pulled ahead (3-2) in the fifth inning with another single run.  Lea Tomasz reached on an infield single and advanced to third on two ground outs.  Kendra Dow hit a ground single to left to score Lea.

The Ponders collected five hits in a bat-around top of the seventh.  Natalie Tarantino (double), Michelle Reilly (single), and Kaleigh Tomaszewski (single) had the RBI for Arlington.  Three runs were scored and the visitors left the bases loaded.  Those runs, and the 2-run lead they gave Arlington, looked to be enough but weren’t as Newburyport rallied in the bottom of the seventh.

Eleni Kacher steals second base in the 4th inning.

Kayleen McLaughlin was thrown out at the plate to end the second inning.

The weather was fabulous – sunny with a light breeze.  Certainly not what we’ve been used to over the past two months!

Both pitchers (Beth Castantini and Erica County) pitched complete games.

Newburyport AD John Daileanes delivered timely rosters for the good-sized crowd on hand.  Some potential spectators were probably watching the NHS baseball team in action about the same time at the high school.

That roster was especially helpful for identifying Sam Wahlgren.

#1 seed Amesbury lost today to Marblehead.  I wasn’t totally surprised by that because I had seen Marblehead defeat Triton on Thursday.  The Magicians didn’t use their top pitcher versus Triton so she was available for Amesbury.

(I collect my own information and take my own pictures.  Inaccuracies can result for which I apologize for in advance.)

Leadoff batter Kaitlyn Morse (reaching third) paced Arlington with three hits.

Natalie Tarantino – a hit, an RBI, and a run scored

Shortstop Kendra Dow catches a popup to end the sixth inning.

Courtney Sacca smiles after fourth inning double.

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Newburyport Defeats Amesbury 7-4 and Gets Share of Cape Ann League D2 Title

Newburyport celebrates winning at least a share of the Cape Ann League D2 title.

(Amesbury) This game will not be fondly remembered by AHS Coach Chris Perry and his Amesbury Indian softball team.

Why?  With a chance to win the Cape Ann League Division 2 title, Amesbury played poorly and lost to Newburyport, 7-4, on Wednesday afternoon.

The Newburyport win means that the Clippers (who won the CAL D2 title last year) have earned at least a tie for the title.  The pressure is now on Amesbury because they have a game (Thursday) at home with Triton that they must win to also share the title.

Newburyport (15-3) has now won twelve of their last thirteen games and with this win they avenge an early-season 10-9 loss at Newburyport.

The Clippers built up a 4-0 lead after 4 ½ innings and then gave all four runs back  in the bottom of the fifth.  The Indians gave up three more runs in the top of the sixth and never recovered.

Hits were plentiful (20) and Amesbury lost despite having at least one hit in every inning.  Amesbury loaded the bases twice and didn’t score either time.  The toughest was the 4th when they loaded the bases with no outs.

Let’s just say that there was plenty of offense!  It was the defenses that surprised me – “subpar,” would put it kindly because Amesbury had three errors and Newburyport five.  The “good” news for the Clippers was that theirs all happened during the Indians four-run fifth.

The Indians spread their mistakes out.  There wasn’t a single Newburyport run that couldn’t be considered some sort of gift.

Taylor Summit holds the ball high after tagging Janine Fatal for the game’s final out.

Amesbury also had, by my estimation, five costly mental mistakes.  Catchable popups dropped in between Ali French and Janine Fatal and later Erin Leary and Cassie Schultz and both runners scored.  Third baseman Anna Kate Webber fielded a grounder in the sixth and instead of getting the out at first tried to catch the runner off third unsuccessfully.  On a relatively deep fly ball to left, Ashley Valme (on third base) didn’t tag up and score.  The most grievous was the fifth one.  The Indians had a two-out rally started with a single by Janine Fatal and then another single, this time by Amanda Schell.  However, on Amanda’s hit Janine rounded second too far and Lea Tomasz’s throw to second baseman Taylor Summit nailed her for the final out of the game.

I apologize for beating on the Amesbury team with this summary but it was all so uncharacteristic of a very good team.  You certainly don’t get to be 17-2 the way they played in this one.

Maddy Stanton had a “memorable” fifth inning but recovered to score a run in the sixth and cleanly handle a grounder in the seventh.

Newburyport won this one but if all you saw of this game was them in the field in the fifth inning you would have wondered how.  After two outs things got real ugly.  Over the next six batter third baseman Maddy Stanton had three errors.  Normally sure-handed it was shocking to see grounders go off her glove as well as under her glove.  It is an unwritten rule that if someone is having trouble in the field the ball will always find them.  It sure happened to Maddy.  Pitcher Molly Rowe bobbled a grounder and there was also a throwing error to home (by shortstop Kendra Dow?).

But other than the fifth inning, Newburyport was solid in the field.  As for Amesbury, they hit very well but were out of character in the other aspects of the game.

In the Newburyport first, Lea Tomasz singled up the middle and later scored on Ashley Casellini’s sacrifice fly to center.

In the Newburyport second, Taylor Summit walked and eventually scored on Rachel Webster’s sacrifice fly to right.

In the Newburyport fifth, Eleni Kacher and Lea Tomasz  reached second and third and Kendra Dow drove in both of them with a single to right.

In the Amesbury fifth, the Indians had one hit (Erin Leary single) but benefited from the five Clipper errors.  Scorers were; Ali French, Erin Leary, Ashley Valme, and Alexis Boswell.

In the Newburyport sixth, the Clippers loaded the bases and Rachel Webster scored on Lea Tomasz’ fielder’s choice.  Eleni Kacher scored on catcher Laura Kaminski’s throwing error and Maddy Stanton reached home on Cassie Davis’ sacrifice fly to center.

AHS coach Chris Perry had a lengthy, and heated, discussion with the umpiring crew.

Another memory from this game was the extended delay in Amesbury’s 4-run fifth when AHS Coach Chris Perry argued for the longest time on a ruling that gave his Indians two runs.  That the umpires didn’t end the discussion and resume play had me believing that they weren’t sure that they had it right.

The weather was shocking.  Who expects a game played under sunny skies with temperatures in the 70’s in April/May in these parts??

Both Lea Tomasz and Eleni Kacher had two hits and scored two runs.  Kendra Dow had two RBI.

Laura Kaminski, Erin Leary, Ashley Valme, and Janine Fatal all had two hits for Amesbury.

Prior to this game with Newburyport, Amesbury had allowed less than two runs per game over the last ten games.

Both teams have qualified for the state tournament.

(I keep track of things myself and take my own pictures.  Mistakes are not uncommon.)

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Newburyport Downs Ipswich 7-0 to Win 14th

Taylor Summit, Beth Castantini, and Kendra Dow are all smiles after Win #14.

Maddy Stanton scores on a wild pitch as pitcher Katie Glaubitz covers.

(Newburyport) The Newburyport Clippers (14-3) are on a big-time roll.

On the last regular-season home game, the Clippers defeated Ipswich, 7-0, on surprisingly warm (for spring 2011) Tuesday afternoon at Cashman Park.

The red-hot Clippers have won eleven of their last twelve games and now get to play Amesbury (Wednesday at Amesbury) and sort out which of them is the best team in Division 2 in the Cape Ann League.  Amesbury won the first meeting, 10-9, at Cashman Park.

The loss eliminated Ipswich (7-11) from any chance of making the post-season.  In this one the Tigers did themselves in early in the field and didn’t have the hitting against Beth Castantini (four hitter with eight K’s) to recover as the innings went by.

Liz Glavin – Tiger slugger was intentionally walked twice.

A key piece of strategy kept Tiger Liz Glavin (CAL’s most dangerous hitter?) from hurting the Clippers.  In the first and third innings Newburyport intentionally walked Liz even though there already were runners on.  The batters after Liz (Sam Wideberg and Rachel Glaubitz) couldn’t deliver.

In the fifth,  the Tigers had runners on first and second when it was Liz’s turn.  Newburyport, with a 5-0 lead, opted not to walk her.  This strategy also worked as Liz hit a hard grounder to third that Maddy Stanton fielded and stepped on third to retire the side.

Liz will be continuing her softball at Wentworth Institute in 2012.

The opportunistic Clippers took full advantage of some low-light film defense by the Tigers in the first.  Newburyport gathered four runs on just two hits (Maddy Stanton & Ashley Casellini).  Ipswich committed three errors and had two wild pitches.  It wasn’t pretty stuff if you watching from the Ipswich sidelines.

Pitcher Katie Glaubitz (allowed five hits in five innings) fielded a one-hopper hit by second batter Lea Tomasz and went for the force-out at second.  Good idea except neither second baseman Becca Dunlop nor shortstop Carolyn Lynch covered second.  Katie’s throw went into centerfield.

Before the inning ended, catcher Liz Glavin had a bad throw to second and Carolyn Lynch had bobbled a grounder.

Ashley Casellini drove in the only earned run of the first with a single to center.

Newburyport added a single run in the second as Cassie Davis tripled (to center) to drive in Maddy Stanton.

In the fifth, Cassie Davis put herself into a rundown past first and Lea Tomasz (who had singled) slipped home from third for Newburyport’s sixth run.

Lea Tomasz’s single in the sixth inning drove in Rachel Webster with the Clippers’ seventh, and final, run.

Lea Tomasz starts the play in which she will throw Rachel Glaubitz out at 3B in the sixth inning.

Ipswich killed a developing big inning in the 6th when Clipper left fielder Lea Tomasz threw out Rachel Glaubitz at third on a Carolyn Lynch single.

There were balloons attached to the Newburyport bench for their six seniors: Cassie Davis, Taylor Summit, Shannon Brunault, Rachel Webster, Eleni Kacher, and Corrie Benton.

Jill Lombard recorded the Tigers first hit (infield grounder) with two out in the 5th.

Lea Tomasz had two hits, scored two runs, and had an RBI to pace Newburyport’s hitters.

(I collect my own stats and take my own pictures.  Any mistakes are unintentional.)

senior Corrie Benton

senior Eleni Kacher

senior Rachel Webster

senior Taylor Summit

senior Cassie Davis

senior Shannon Brunault

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