Prospect Andrew Benintendi (Benny Baseball) sighted in Portland’s 2-1 win over Hartford

Andrew Benintendi (1st round draft pick in 2015)

Andrew Benintendi (1st round draft pick in 2015)

Andrew Benintendi prepping for an at-bat

Andrew Benintendi prepping for an at-bat

(Portland ME) I got my first look at 21-year-old Andrew Benintendi (known as “Benny Baseball” at Arkansas) this afternoon at Portland’s Hadlock Field.

I was able to get plenty of shots of Boston’s first-round draft pick (2015) in an afternoon in which the last-place Sea Dogs defeated Hartford, 2-1.

The Yard Goats are in 2nd place in the Eastern League East.  I heard in the press room before the game that there is a good possibility that Hartford’s stadium will not open at all this season.  Should change their name to the “Road” Goats??

Mitch Atkins (six scoreless innings, no walks, 8 K's)

Mitch Atkins (six scoreless innings, no walks, 8 K’s)

Veterans paved the way for the Portland win.  Last-minute starter Mitch Atkins (30) pitched six scoreless innings while Nate Freiman (29) launched a 2-run homer in the first inning that spelled the difference on this sunny afternoon.

Aaron Wilkerson was scheduled to pitch for the Sea Dogs.  He has been Portland’s best pitcher (2-1, 1.83 ERA) and was called up to Pawtucket today.  Naturally, I was disappointed that a spot-starter would replace Aaron but Mitch was indeed a worthy replacement this afternoon.

Nate Freiman (drafted by San Diego in 2009) put a serious charge into a Kyle Freeland, first-inning offering and cleared the Maine Monster with ease.

Andrew Benintendi dives back into first.

Andrew Benintendi dives back into first.

My ultimate intent on the visit (arranged by Chris Cameron) was to catch Andrew Benintendi in action.  There is no guarantee that the next time I visit he’ll still be there.  I chased Xander and Mookie at Portland with the same thinking in mind.  You just knew that they would advance to Pawtucket on their way to the big team.  Andrew could well move on.

Andrew was taken by the Red Sox in June of last year and signed for $3.6 million dollars.  He was the College Player-of-the-Year in 2015 at Arkansas.

Andrew was drafted by Cincinnati in 2013 but didn’t sign.  He’s from Ohio.

Andrew Benintendi asks for time after stealing second.

Andrew Benintendi asks for time after stealing second.

Andrew started this season at A ball at Salem (VA) but had big numbers right from the start there.  The turning point in promoting him may well have been the number of intentional walks he started getting.

The most impressive stat at Salem was NOT his 23-game hitting streak, in my opinion.  I preferred the stat in which he went ten games and forty-eight swings without ever swinging and missing.  Think about that!  That remarkable stat was why I took special note today when Hartford starter Kyle Freeland got Andrew swinging.

Andrew played centerfield flawlessly.  He has good speed and good range.  He had his 4th steal today.

Slugger down-and-out as kid crosses home

Slugger down-and-out as kid crosses home

Kid consoles Slugger after the race

Kid consoles Slugger after the race

Those who read my Portland accounts know that I’m a big fan of Slugger the Portland mascot.  Every game he risks humiliation as he gets into a footrace around the bases with a young fan.

Today Slugger had an excellent chance to win.  The chosen competition had his hat out of place and an uncertainty about where to go after each base.  Maybe it was the heat, but Slugger collapsed with a pretty good lead rounding first heading for home.  Down he went in a heap.

Now this is important: A stunned Slugger was down-and-out as his young competitor crossed home.  Did the kid gloat as some of them have after winning?  Not this kid.  Classy all the way.  He went over to see if Slugger was okay and helped him up.  Fine young man!  You don’t mind losing to someone like that.

A pleasant surprise for me today was being asked to take a picture of Sea Dogs’ first baseman Ryan Court and his family.  The parents are visiting from Illinois.  Ryan was drafted by Arizona in 2011.  He was in the Independent League (Sioux City) last year.

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

Sean Coyle

Sean Coyle

Shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin tags out Rosell Herrera

Shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin tags out Rosell Herrera

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi

Dave Dahl (1st round - 2012) and manager Darin Everson

Dave Dahl (1st round – 2012) and manager Darin Everson

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi

Ryan Court with his parents from Illinois

Ryan Court with his parents from Illinois

Nate Freiman and Andrew Benintendi after first-inning homer

Nate Freiman and Andrew Benintendi after first-inning homer

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi scores first run

Kyle Freeland (1st round - 2014)

Kyle Freeland (1st round – 2014)

Wendell Rijo

Wendell Rijo

Ty Buttrey (4th round - 2012)

Ty Buttrey (4th round – 2012)

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi

Ryan Court

Ryan Court

Nate Freiman in Portland dugout after home run

Nate Freiman in Portland dugout after home run

Andrew Benintendi scores first run

Andrew Benintendi after striking out

Pat Valaika watches

Pat Valaika watches

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi

Diving back into first

Diving back into first

Teddy Stankiewicz (2nd round - 2013) and Andrew Benintendi

Teddy Stankiewicz (2nd round – 2013) and Andrew Benintendi

 

 

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SC 2016 Cape Ann League Outdoor Championship Track Meet

Meet MVP Alec Reduker

Meet MVP Alec Reduker

Meet MVP Carolyn Modlish

Meet MVP Carolyn Modlish

(Boxford MA) The team winners at the 2016 Cape Ann League outdoor championship track meet were the Amesbury boys and the North Reading girls on a cloudy Saturday afternoon at Masconomet.

Amesbury held off second-place North Reading 113 to 100 while the NR girls had a 125.75 to 91 advantage over runner-up Hamilton-Wenham.

Newburyport’s Alec Reduker and Pentucket’s Carolyn Modlish were selected by the CAL coaches as the top performers at the meet.

I was at Masco for the afternoon part of the event.

OFFICIAL STATS FROM THE MEET

Girls’ team stats

Boys’ team stats

(All of the pictures in this blog entry will ENLARGE considerably if you click on them.)

Alex Reduker

Alex Reduker

Alec Reduker (Newburyport), Brandon Amello (Triton) - 110 meter hurdles

Alec Reduker (Newburyport), Brandon Amello (Triton) – 110 meter hurdles

Daniela Garcia (Hamilton-Wenham), Brooke Taylor (Amesbury), Caroline Schissel (Amesbury) - 100 meters

Daniela Garcia (Hamilton-Wenham), Brooke Taylor (Amesbury), Caroline Schissel (Amesbury) – 100 meters

Keith Merchant (Amesbury), Ian Riaf (Hamilton-Wenham), Jackson Hastings (North Reading) - 100 meters

Keith Merchant (Amesbury), Ian Riaf (Hamilton-Wenham), Jackson Hastings (North Reading) – 100 meters

lunge for the finish

lunge for the finish

Sam Coppola (Pentucket), Jack Carleo (Newburyport) - 800 meters

Sam Coppola (Pentucket), Jack Carleo (Newburyport) – 800 meters

Carolyn Modlish (Pentucket), Julia Koenig (Hamilton-Wenham) - 400 meters

Carolyn Modlish (Pentucket), Julia Koenig (Hamilton-Wenham) – 400 meters

Daniel Allara (Hamilton-Wenham), Fred Halloran (Amesbury) - 400 meters

Daniel Allara (Hamilton-Wenham), Fred Halloran (Amesbury) – 400 meters

Geena Gangi (Masco), Carolina Ivanov (Ipswich), Brooke Taylor (Amesbury) - 200 meters

Geena Gangi (Masco), Carolina Ivanov (Ipswich), Brooke Taylor (Amesbury) – 200 meters

Relay start

Relay start

Keith Merchant and Nick Copelas

Keith Merchant and Nick Copelas

Jack Carleo and Joe Molvar exchange the baton for Newburyport

Jack Carleo and Joe Molvar exchange the baton for Newburyport

Katryn Dwyer (Pentucket), Daniela Garcia (Hamilton-Wenham), Jenna Raffael (North Reading) - 4X100 relay

Katryn Dwyer (Pentucket), Daniela Garcia (Hamilton-Wenham), Jenna Raffael (North Reading) – 4X100 relay

Tight relay finish

Tight relay finish

Passing the baton

Passing the baton

Amanda Recupero ((pswich), Sarah Maggiacomo (Triton) - 4X400 relay

Amanda Recupero (Ipswich), Sarah Maggiacomo (Triton) – 4X400 relay

Ipswich baton exchange

Ipswich baton exchange

Fred Halloran

Keith Merchant

Sam Coppola (Pentucket), Keith Merchant (Amesbury), Tom Helms (North Reading) in 4X100 relay

Sam Coppola (Pentucket), Fred Halloran (Amesbury), Tom Helms (North Reading) in 4X100 relay

Maddie Quigley and Morgan Snow

Maddie Quigley and Morgan Snow

 

 

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Wondering about vacationing in Turks and Caicos?

tci-looking-out-from-the-beach

White sand, turquoise water, and a dark cloud that quickly went by greeted me on my first day at Turks and Caicos

I first visited Turks and Caicos for a week in November of 2008.

My return visit was April 9-16 of this year.

Eight years ago Turks and Caicos was the first Caribbean Island I had ever visited.  Since then I have vacationed in Barbados and Anguilla.

A second time back to a place offers the possibilities of then-and-now comparisons but that will not help readers trying to decide if TCI is a place they should visit for the first time.  So I will resist comparisons.

I would make it clear immediately that if you’re looking for nightlife and entertainment, I won’t be able to enlighten you.  However, if you’re looking for a stay-put vacation, I can offer details from my experience there.

tci-pelican

Pelican in the TCI breeze

Turks and Caicos is a breezy island with plenty of sunshine.  You want to know the weather for TCI?  Get “Cockburn Harbour” (capital of TCI) onto your weather site.

The island is small so any rain there tends to be brief.  It just passes through!

Temperatures for us were in the high 70’s during the afternoons.  Nights and early mornings were in the 60’s.

One certainty is that there will be wind.  It is persistent and could get you into a windbreaker if you’re on the beach at night.  That breeze, however, is wonderful if you’re out in full sun during the day under an umbrella.

tci-Maddie-scubas

Snorkeling was a terrific way to enjoy the coral residents

The sand does not get hot.  I commented on that feature in my TCI review from 2008.  I’m used to the hot-sun, hot-sand of New England’s beaches.

That breeze can fool you into a sunburn if you’re not careful.  You’re in the sun but the breeze has you feeling cool.  Sunscreen is essential.

The water is warm and a beautiful turquoise color.  Recommendation: bring water shoes.  There are lots of beaches, but off many of them is coral.  It’s sharp but with water shoes you can get in without foot damage.

The waves were small because of a sandbar out from where we stayed on Turtle Bay.  That made it a lot easier to navigate in the water.

This trip I was introduced to snorkeling for the first time.  There was a pool at the villa (Paprika) and there I learned to snorkel comfortably.  That coral off the beach was a terrific place to take in an underground aquarium that was dazzling.

This has to be said:  I was on the beach on one particular day and saw a shark (4-foot) swim through the area close to shore that I had snorkeled in.  At that size I wasn’t imagining Jaws but my attention was gotten for sure.

TCI-shells

Some of the small shells brought home from TCI

If you have an interest in collecting shells you are in luck.  The nice thing about TCI shells is that not only are they different from each other but they are small.  Easy to carry back to the US.

tci-bougainvilla-2

Plenty of beautiful flowers at TCI

Many tropical plants to be seen including bougainvillea.  Not many birds, though.  I did get a picture of one of the few pelicans that flew by.

I strongly suggest having a camera with you if for no other reason than the sunsets.  They were awesome on a nightly basis.  The sunrises were pretty good too but nothing like the sunsets.

It always makes sense to bring food with you.  We had a suitcase full of snacks and canned food such as tuna fish.

A pleasant surprise was a significant supermarket near the airport.  What worked for us was stopping at the IGA Grocery Store on the trip from the airport before arriving where we stayed. The items available at IGA were just like back in the US.  We bought plenty of bottled water. The attention getter, however, was the prices.  But to have the foods you like available at a beautiful location lessened the sticker shock.

I avoided renting a car and never left, or wanted to leave, the villa area.  Did notice that gas was $4.97 a gallon.  It was a shocking, at the time, $3.99 when we visited eight years ago.

tci-green-bean-coffee-mug

The Green Bean served Starbucks coffee.

We did find a place nearby (Green Bean) that served Starbucks coffee.  That information gave several of us impetus to take morning walks to get the familiar brew.

I found that the television/internet connections were consistently good.  I was hardly cut off from the rest of the world.

The flights down and back were on time and uneventful.  If you travel much you know about getting to the airport early and having to wait and wait.  You also know that there are certain items that you will have to take out of your carry-on’s at security checks.  I could have prepared better for that by packing the sure-to-be-checked things on top and then repacking them after getting through security.

A clever move I noticed on the flight from Boston to TCI: It was probably in the 40’s in Boston when we left so you had to dress warmly but in flight I saw several folks strip off outer layers and pack them in their carry-on bags.  Those folks looked like geniuses when we walked off the plane and into the 70+ degree temperatures of TCI.  Those same folks probably put on warm clothes from their carry-on bags as they approached Boston at the end of the trip from TCI.

tci-sunset-pink-clouds

Remarkable sunsets were a daily occurrence.

A daily routine for me that included: being with family, beach walking, snorkeling, blogging, eating, napping, and picture-taking made the time spent in beautiful TCI delightful.

tci-peter-solo

TCI gets high marks from me!

I recommend vacationing in Turks and Caicos and I am hoping to return there.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hayley Catania holds Newburyport to one hit in 6-0 shutout

Hayley Catania struck out nine Clippers and allowed only one hit

Hayley Catania struck out nine Clippers and allowed only one hit

Hayley Catania prepares to throw to first

Hayley Catania prepares to throw to first

(Amesbury MA) Sophomore Hayley Catania tossed a one-hitter and recorded nine strikeouts as Amesbury defeated Newburyport, 6-0, on a sunny Thursday afternoon.

Hayley retired the last ten Clippers she faced and also drove in a run in Amesbury’s two-run first with a sacrifice fly.

Sophomore Caity Baker had the big hit for the Indians when she homered to left center in the sixth inning.  No fence at Amesbury Middle School so Caity’s line drive rolled a long way.  There was no play at the plate.

Newburyport’s only hit came in the fourth when freshman Olivia Salvatore lined to right.

Freshman Olivia Salvatore had Newburyport's only hit

Freshman Olivia Salvatore had Newburyport’s only hit

In much of the game the Clippers struggled to make contact.  It was a game in which most of the pitches taken by Newburyport batters were usually strikes and most of the pitches swung at were missed.

It has been a rough last eight days for Newburyport.  The Clippers went into the eight days 6-5 but after today’s loss are now 6-9.

Amesbury (10-2) has won six straight and have qualified for the post-season tournament.

The Clippers did get Paige Gouldthorpe to third base in the first inning but a Caitlin Clarke groundout ended the threat.

The Indians took the lead (for good) in the first inning.  Maddie Napoli reached on a bunt and then stole second on a very close play.  Senior Zoe Fitzgerald singled to right center scoring Maddie.  Zoe took second on the throw in from the outfield and reached third on a Stephanie Gleason wild pitch.  Hayley’s sacrifice fly delivered Zoe.

Hannaih Burdick had an RBI in the third inning

Hannaih Burdick had an RBI in the third inning

Amesbury added two more runs in the second inning.  Caity Baker singled down the third base line and reached second on a passed ball and third on Adrienne Harris’ sacrifice bunt. She scored on Hannaih Burdick’s infield out.

Lauren Fedorchak continued the inning with a bunt single and then stole second base.  Maddie Napoli drove Lauren home with Amesbury’s fourth run.

Paige Gouldthorpe reached second with two outs in the third but Hayley was able to catch freshman Annie Siemasko looking to end the inning.

In the Amesbury third Emily Robinson got caught rounding second and was tagged out after a brief rundown by third baseman Colleen Twomey.

In the Amesbury fifth, with Hayley on second, centerfielder Paige Gouldthorpe made a nice catch of Emily Robinson’s line drive to end the inning.

Caity Baker (13) celebrates her sixth-inning home run

Caity Baker (13) celebrates her sixth-inning home run

An infield single by senior Megan Reid was followed by Caity Baker’s home run in the sixth inning.

Maddie Napoli, Megan Reid, and Caity Baker each had two hits for Amesbury.

Former Clippers’ softball player Jackie Colby was honored before the game.

This game was played in just over an hour.  Both pitchers (Hayley Catania/Stephanie Gleason) threw strikes.  There was only one walk between them.

Autumn Kligerman was in the house.  What a season she had last year for the Indians.

Amesbury box

Newburyport box

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

Paige Gouldthorpe played well in centerfield

Paige Gouldthorpe played well in centerfield

Chloe Kramer

Chloe Kramer

Adrienne Harris

Adrienne Harris

Bridget Ramsden

Bridget Ramsden

Jackie Colby

Jackie Colby

Lauren Fedorchak puts the tag on Colleen Twomey

Lauren Fedorchak puts the tag on Colleen Twomey

Emily Robinson caught in a rundown

Emily Robinson caught in a rundown

Stephanie Gleason

Stephanie Gleason

Freshman Annie Siemasko awaits the throw as Maddie Napoli starts to slide

Freshman Annie Siemasko awaits the throw as Maddie Napoli starts to slide

Emily Dobson

Emily Dobson

 

 

 

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Newburyport loses to Triton 13-11 despite eighteen hits

Senior Julia Hartman had three hits, scored three runs, and homered in Triton's win over Newburyport

Senior Julia Hartman had three hits, scored three runs, and homered in Triton’s win over Newburyport

Freshman Bridget Sheehan started a crucial double play for Triton in the 7th inning

Freshman Bridget Sheehan started a crucial double play for Triton in the 7th inning

(Byfield MA) This game could have used instant replay, a scoreboard, and a calculator!

Triton managed to defeat Newburyport, 13-11, in a wild Cape Ann League softball game on Monday afternoon at Triton.

The Clippers (6-7) trailed 12-3 after four innings but exploded for an eight-run fifth to make things very interesting.

Because of all the activity in that wild Newburyport fifth I lost track of the score and didn’t realize until later that the Clippers were just a run back after that half inning.

Senior Julia Hartman’s solo homer in the bottom of the fifth gave the Vikings (7-3) a two-run cushion (13-11) that barely held up.

Newburyport had the bases loaded in the seventh inning after consecutive singles (Caitlin Clarke, Olivia Salvatore, Emily Dobson).  Key play of the game?  Next batter (Skyla Harrington) hit a hard liner that Triton shortstop Bridget Sheehan speared to her right.  NHS pinchrunner Megan Rogers took off from third on contact and Bridget doubled her off.  Triton pitcher Grace McGonagle was then able to end the game with a caught looking on Colleen Twomey.

Emily Dobson had a homer and a double in the Newburyport 5th

Emily Dobson had a homer and a double in the Newburyport 5th

That Triton “limited” Newburyport to only eleven runs was truly remarkable.  The Clippers had eighteen hits and stranded thirteen baserunners in a seven inning game!  The Clippers left the bases loaded in the 7th and two on in the 2nd, 4th, and 5th.  Twice innings were ended on the base paths: baserunner interference (Emily Dobson) and caught stealing (Stephanie Gleason).  I am not sure that I have ever seen a game in which there were more wasted opportunities.

The visitors led 3-1 going into the Triton second.  There the Vikings dropped seven runs on the Clippers.  The Vikings had only two hits in the inning but a bad mix of walks, wild pitches, and errors helped Triton.  Key hits by Zoe Cesati and Julia Hartman drove in runs.  Stephanie Gleason came on to relieve NHS starter Paige Gouldthorpe and pitched the rest of the game.

Bridget Sheehan tags out Stephanie Gleason to end the Newburyport 6th inning

Bridget Sheehan tags out Stephanie Gleason to end the Newburyport 6th inning

The Triton lead expanded to 12-3 with three runs in the 4th inning.  RBIs in that inning were collected by Emma McGonagle, Julia Hartman, and Chelsea Gordon.

Thoughts of the Mercy Rule danced in my head after Triton led 12-3 but the Clippers in the fifth inning were anything but done.  They whacked Grace McGonagle for nine hits including a homer (Stephanie Gleason) and double and a homer for Emily Dobson.

And anyone at this game will tell you that there was a play during that inning that was hard to figure out.  Bases loaded for Newburyport.  A full-swing squibber rolls just beyond home plate.  The batter drops the bat as she runs to first and the bat lands on top of the ball.  The call?  Batter is out and the runner who was on third is also out.  Nifty double play.  Despite that call Newburyport sent thirteen batters to the plate and tallied eight runs to close to a run.

Zoe Cesati had three hits for Triton

Zoe Cesati had three hits for Triton

Everyone in the Newburyport batting order had at least one hit and scored at least one run.  Junior Emily Dobson topped the Clippers with four hits.  Stephanie Gleason and Olivia Salvatore had three apiece.

Julia Hartman and Zoe Cesati paced Triton with three hits each.  Julia’s homer in the 6th inning was a key piece in the Triton victory.

This was the rematch of an 11-4 Triton win in Newburyport in April.

Plenty of sports activity at Triton on this afternoon.  Besides two softball games there were two baseball games, a tennis match and lacrosse practice happening.

Good to see work being done on Triton’s new football stadium.  Supposed to be ready in the fall.

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

Pitcher Stephanie Gleason

Pitcher Stephanie Gleason

Annie Siemasko awaits the ball and baserunner Zoe Cesati

Annie Siemasko awaits the ball and baserunner Zoe Cesati

Stephanie Gleason rounds the bases

Stephanie Gleason rounds the bases

Paige Gouldthorpe scores Newburyport's first run

Paige Gouldthorpe scores Newburyport’s first run

Caitlin Clarke

Caitlin Clarke

Triton pitcher Grace McGonagle

Triton pitcher Grace McGonagle

Courtney Walsh covers first

Courtney Walsh covers first

Shannon Lyons catches a fly ball.

Shannon Lyons catches a fly ball.

Julia Hartman in the home run trot

Julia Hartman in the home run trot

Pitcher Stephanie Gleason gets an out from her knees

Pitcher Stephanie Gleason gets an out from her knees

McGonagle sisters after the final out

McGonagle sisters after the final out

Tessa Boyle

Tessa Boyle

Emma McGonagle

Emma McGonagle

Newburyport starter Paige Gouldthorpe

Newburyport starter Paige Gouldthorpe

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Shaky start dooms Amesbury 7-5 versus nonleague Concord-Carlisle

Amesbury pitcher Hayley Catania looks for the ball at home in a cloud of Jill Chelton dust

Amesbury pitcher Hayley Catania looks for the ball at home in a cloud of Jill Chelton dust

2B Lauren Fedorchak looks for the handle in the first inning

2B Lauren Fedorchak looks for the handle in the first inning

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury had three errors and a wild pitch in the first inning and never recovered from the consequences losing, 7-5, to nonleague Concord-Carlisle on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Giving up four unearned runs early to a very good Division One opponent was asking for trouble.

Division Two Amesbury (6-2), despite the defensive start, came out swinging early and often and had home runs (Zoe Fitzgerald, Megan Reid) in the first two innings off CC starter Haley McMorrow.

Zoe Fitzgerald congratulated after first inning homer

Zoe Fitzgerald congratulated after first inning homer

The Patriots (6-3) allowed Amesbury to close to 6-5 in the fifth when they had a defensive nightmare of an inning similar to Amesbury’s in the first.  Haley McMorrow, however, was able to end the 5th by getting Maddie Napoli to fly to right with the tying run on second.

Sophomore Catherine Kingman enabled CC to gain two-run separation in the next inning by whacking a home run over CF Megan Reid’s head. Reliever Nicole Small then came on for Concord-Carlisle and, after giving up a single to the first batter she faced (Caity Baker), retired the last six Indians to seal the deal for the visitors.

Catcher Virginia Ryan puts an end to the AHS second

Catcher Virginia Ryan puts an end to the AHS second

Good crowd on hand and why not with sunshine and temperatures in the 60’s.

Without any outfield fences there was nothing cheap about today’s home runs by Zoe Fitzgerald, Megan Reid, and Catherine Kingman.

Both teams had three errors and both teams bunched them into one inning.

In the Concord-Carlisle first, Emma Della-Volpe reached on 2B Lauren Fedorchak’s bobble.  Catherine Kingman flied out and then Scout Boynton got first on 1B Zoe Fitzgerald’s drop.  So instead of three outs, CC had a run in and a runner on base.  Another chance for an out (fly ball to LF Emily Robinson) was dropped and two more runs crossed.  A wild pitch by AHS starter Haley Catania allowed CC’s 4th run. (Note picture above.)

Virginia Ryan slides the ball and glove loose from Amesbury catcher Caity Baker in the Concord-Carlisle first

Virginia Ryan slides the ball and glove loose from Amesbury catcher Caity Baker in the Concord-Carlisle first

There was a point in the first inning when the Patriots had three runs in and AHS catcher Caity Baker in serious pain at home plate after trying to tag out Virginia Ryan.

Things did get better for the home team as they came out swinging with two homers in the next two innings and their defense got better.

AHS starter Hayley Catania allowed just five hits but had eight walks.  Those walks added base runners and helped CC to get single runs in the 3rd and 4th innings.

Ball goes through shortstop Scout Boynton in the 3-run Amesbury 4th inning

Ball goes through shortstop Scout Boynton in the 3-run Amesbury 4th inning

Trailing 6-2, the Indians cashed three runs in their fourth all unearned.  The elusive second out was dropped first by LF Audrey McKennitt and later went through the legs of shortstop Scout Boynton.  The outfield drop produced a run.  Then with two outs, Lauren Fedorchak’s high infield popup got into the sun for SS Scout Boynton and deflected off her glove for two more Indians runs.

Memorable sequences:

  • In the fourth inning Scout Boynton was on third with one out. On a line drive to right she did not tag up and try to score. The next batter made the third out.
  • In the second inning, after Megan Reid had homered, Caity Baker tripled. Good relay by CC forced third base coach Jim Hounam to hold Caity at third.  Starter Haley McMorrow then retired three straight and Amesbury was only able to get one run out of a very promising inning.

 

Emma Della-Volpe

Emma Della-Volpe

Concord-Carlisle is from the Dual County League and have been a powerhouse in that league the same way Amesbury has been in the Cape Ann League.

There will be a rematch between the two teams on Saturday May 21st at Concord.

Emma Della-Volpe was the co-MVP of the Dual County League in 2015.  She was 8-1 with 105 K’s in 97 innings pitched.  Amesbury can be thankful that CC’s four games in six days kept her away from them this time.

Amesbury will be facing Lynnfield on the road on Monday afternoon.  The Patriots visit Bedford tomorrow afternoon.

Modern equipment: You watch football and see armbands.  Now softball teams have them.  They have numbers on them and coaches use them for offensive and defensive situations.  So a coach yells out a number and all the players look at their armbands.  It will be very hard to miss a signal under this arrangement!

One coach in my (very) distant past would yell things like, “This is your existential moment.”  He taught philosophy.

It was good to see Augie the Amesbury mascot on hand.

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

Teammates celebrate Catherine Kingman's HR in the sixth inning

Teammates celebrate Catherine Kingman’s HR in the sixth inning

1B Zoe Fitzgerald tags out Emma Della-Volpe

1B Zoe Fitzgerald tags out Emma Della-Volpe

Shortstop Maddie Napoli fires to first base

Shortstop Maddie Napoli fires to first base

Patriots reliever Nicole Small prepares to throw to first base

Patriots reliever Nicole Small prepares to throw to first base

Emma Della-Volpe scores the first CC run

Emma Della-Volpe scores the first CC run

Close play at third

Close play at third

Scout Boynton

Scout Boynton

Starter and winner Haley McMorrow

Starter and winner Haley McMorrow

The sun gives Scout Boynton trouble in the 4th inning

The sun gives Scout Boynton trouble in the 4th inning

RF Jill Chelton looks for a fly in right

RF Jill Chelton looks for a fly in right

3B Adrienne Harris settles under a popup in the 2nd inning

3B Adrienne Harris settles under a popup in the 2nd inning

Megan Reid smiles after her second inning homer

Megan Reid smiles after her second inning homer

 

 

 

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North Reading dominates formerly undefeated Amesbury 7-0 in softball

North Reading pitcher Julia Perrone tossed a 4-hit, 7K, gem against Amesbury

North Reading pitcher Julia Perrone tossed a 4-hit, 7K, gem against Amesbury

Sophomore Tara Driver smiles her way around the bases after hitting a 3-run homer in the sixth inning

Sophomore Tara Driver smiles her way around the bases after hitting a 3-run homer in the sixth inning

(North Reading MA)  This was a surprise.

North Reading (5-1) dominated Amesbury to the tune of 7-0 with terrific pitching (Julia Perrone) and nonstop hitting on Monday afternoon in Cape Ann League action.

This was the first loss for the Indians (5-1).  The shutout was a real surprise since Amesbury had rattled five opponents with forty-five runs before running into NR junior Julia Perrone.

The Hornets’ righty allowed only four singles and struck out seven Indians.  Julia ended the 2nd and 3rd innings with K’s after the visitors had runners in scoring position in each of them.

It was easy to miss the Hornets excellent pitching with all the hitting they did.  The word “squibber” would not describe any of those hits.  NR hit the fence on a line, hit one over the fence (Tara Driver), and had four doubles.

The only starter without a hit was leadoff batter Carly Swartz but Carly’s terrific defense at second more than made up for her not getting a hit.

Senior Lily Malloy drove in NR’s first two runs with a single in the second and a double to center in the third.

It was a very busy afternoon in the Amesbury outfield

It was a very busy afternoon in the Amesbury outfield

North Reading would get two more runs in the fifth inning on sophomore Guiliana Peppe’s two-out, bases-loaded double to left field.

The Hornets carried that 4-0 lead into the sixth.  After two quick outs, Abby Paine singled.  3B Emily Robinson handled the grounder of next batter Julia Perrone okay but looked first to second and then threw wildly to first allowing Julia to reach and extend the inning.  That was unfortunate for Amesbury because next batter Tara Driver lofted a high fly to right that cleared the fence for a 3-run homer.

Pitcher Julia Perrone throws to first as teammate Cassidy looks on

Pitcher Julia Perrone throws to first as teammate Cassidy looks on

This was Tara’s fifth home run of the season.

Starter Julia Perrone now has 46 strikeouts over 37 innings.

Amesbury starter Hayley Catania had three strikeouts but as the thirteen hits would indicate was not missing many bats on this afternoon.

With both teams in Division 2 you can almost be certain that to get where they want to get in the post-season they have a good chance of meeting again.

The Indians had defeated North Reading three straight years by one run each time.  I was expecting a close game but NR on this afternoon would have none of that.

Cassandra Pascucci was one of four Hornets with two hits

Cassandra Pascucci was one of four Hornets with two hits

Julia Perrone, Cassidy Gaetta, Cassandra Pascucci, and Guiliana Peppe each had two hits for North Reading.

Lauren Fedorchak, Hayley Catania, Adrienne Harris, and Chloe Kramer singled for Amesbury.

Next game for North Reading is on the road Wednesday versus Ipwich.

Amesbury’s next game is hosting Masco on Friday.

Danny Ventura of the Boston Herald was in the house.

A wild throw to first by 3B Tara Driver found my ankle.  That comes with the territory when you try to get action shots and have the reflexes of a sidewalk.

North Reading box

Amesbury box

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

Zoe Fitzgerald

Zoe Fitzgerald

Megan Reid

Megan Reid

2B Carly Swartz fields the final out

2B Carly Swartz fields the final out

Adrienne Harris connects

Adrienne Harris connects

3B Tara Driver fires toward first ......and finds my ankle.

3B Tara Driver fires toward first ……and finds my ankle.

Hayley Catania

Hayley Catania

CF Abby Paine sights a fly ball

CF Abby Paine sights a fly ball

Caity Baker

Caity Baker

2B Lauren Fedorchak tries to track down a hit up the middle

2B Lauren Fedorchak tries to track down a hit up the middle

Hayley Catania caught stealing by shortstop Cassandra Pascucci

Hayley Catania caught stealing by shortstop Cassandra Pascucci

Catcher Caity Baker applies the tag at home to Jessica Ferrazzani

Catcher Caity Baker applies the tag at home to Jessica Ferrazzani

Amesbury nearly turned two.

Amesbury nearly turned two.

1B Zoe Fitzgerald set to tag Carly Swartz

1B Zoe Fitzgerald set to tag Carly Swartz

 

 

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