(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.
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.
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.
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.)