Coming into Amesbury tied for first place in Cape Ann League Division 2, the Lynnfield softball team was unable to hang onto an early lead yesterday at Amesbury Middle School.
The Indians put together an eight-run bottom of the sixth inning to take sole possession of first place, 9-5.
“It seemed like we were the visiting team just getting off the bus,” said Indians coach Chris Perry. “We’ve been practicing in the mornings and everything, so it’s not like we didn’t have enough practice. But we’ll take (the win).”
Lynnfield wasted no time getting started, scooping up four quick runs in the top of the first inning thanks to a two-RBI triple from Jade Palladino. Palladino was then brought home, thanks to a home run from Malia Roberto, before Amesbury pitcher Carolina Merrill could find a groove.
Palladino found herself in a jam as well on the mound at the end of the first when Alexis Boswell reached with a lead off-double, followed by a single from Cassie Schultz. Both runners found themselves in scoring position thanks to Amanda Schell, but were stranded due to a pop-up.
Merrill struggled with her location in the top of the second, allowing Sydney Johnian to steal home before finding her footing in the third as Palladino kept cruising until the bottom of the fifth.
“She had us off balance,” Perry said of Palladino. “But I guess we got the message a little bit, hitting.”
Indians veteran Janine Fatal reached on a single at the start of the fifth, then moved to second base on a wild pitch. Lauren Fedorchak came to the plate next for the Indians, scoring Fatal with a double to centerfield to put her team on the board, 5-1.
“We started to hit the first couple of innings before that,” Perrry said of the fifth inning. “But that is what happens sometimes. We had a couple of runners, and there were those two line shots that they caught. Also, I didn’t know if we would have enough time to catch up.”
But catch up Amesbury did in the sixth. Schell started things off with a double to center, followed by a single from Erin Leary, who then stole second. A towering triple from Ashley Valme plated Schell and Leary next. Valme would then cross the plate thanks to a single from Autumn Kligerman and Fedorchak would bring in Kligerman with a bunt. Alexis Boswell had an RBI single to tie things up, and the Indians would score three more thanks to a wild pitch and a pair of throwing errors (two of four in the inning) followed by another run courtesy of a single from Leary to bring things to the work-a-day 9-5 final.
“If we made the plays, we wouldn’t be in that situation,” Pioneers coach Peter Marinelli said after the loss. “I would say we played five real good innings and one bad inning.”
With only three seniors on his squad, Marinelli knows his Pioneers have a lot of work to do.
“We’re just trying to find the right combination now,” said Marinelli. “We’re a good team but we’re young, we’re inexperienced, so I think we’re going to get better as a team as the season goes along.”