With softball season gearing up in the Greater Newburyport area, both the Newburyport and Amesbury softball teams are looking to sustain their success from last season and make a return trip to the postseason. Here’s a look at both teams and what fans can expect from each squad this year.
The Clippers softball team fell in their season opener yesterday to Marblehead 8-1, though the season’s goal remains unwavering: a deep tournament run.
Though the season has officially begun, the weather had a strong impact on what was already a short offseason. While being restricted in terms of outside work, the Clippers were also limited to just one scrimmage to prepare.
While Mother Nature has done no favors for Newburyport, neither has the injury bug. With just five returning starters from last year, one is already sidelined due to injury. Because of this, head coach Lori Solazzo’s team is relying heavily upon talent brought by its newcomers.
“Our program numbers are low this year and we’re already dealing with injuries,” Solazzo said.
Senior captain Victoria Allman and junior captain Carley Siemasko will be expected to carry much of the load this year, along with fellow veterans Meghan Stanton, Ashley Hodge, Lauren Singer, Shelby O’Brien and Molly Kelley.
While the season is just hours old, one can’t help but look to what may lie ahead for Newburyport. With just two seniors on this year’s team, one of which that is familiar with the program, and one freshman newcomer, the Clippers are built almost exclusively from its junior class. Of the 13 girls on the team, 10 are juniors.
The good news about that fact for this year is that the newcomers to Port’s program are mainly upperclassmen; a group comprised of a senior, four juniors and a freshman. Amy Sullivan is the senior, while Nicole Freeman, Shianne Sneider, Lizzie Wright and Morgan Johnston make up the junior class. Jade Carpenter is the lone freshman on the team.