They came in from the outfield to take center stage.
After losing both starting pitchers, Molly Rowe and Beth Castantini, to graduation last year, the Newburyport softball team was in need of some arms. Lucky for second-year coach Lori Solazzo, all she had to do was look left and right.
Patrolling right field last year was current junior Victoria Allman, and out in left was current sophomore Carley Siemasko. Both girls are preparing to take on a bit more pressure this season as they take the mound for the Clippers.
“It definitely is a lot of pressure,” Allman said. “But you just have to take it one game at a time.”
Both right-handers have been playing together for a while. Allman has been playing AAU softball since seventh grade and spends a lot of her off-season time working on her pitching.
“I’m not the speediest of pitchers,” Allman said. “But what people recognized is that I can place the ball. I’m a finesse pitcher. And it makes me happy that I am able to do that.”
“She works all year, around the clock at it,” Solazzo said of Allman. “You can’t ask for more than that. Pretty much, if you’re going to be a pitcher, you’ve got to be willing to put the time in outside of the season as much as during the season. And Victoria does that the most of everybody on our team.”
Siemasko is a three-sport athlete (field hockey, basketball and softball), and got serious about softball in eighth grade. She hopes to fall back on some of the experience in her other sports while on the mound.
“I’m used to tuning everything out for basketball,” said Siemasko. “You have to tune it out. But the cheering, you can’t really hear it and it doesn’t affect you was much in the field. But it will start to get to you on the mound. So I’m going to try to tune it out, and hopefully it works.”