NEWBURYPORT — Seemingly dead and buried on more than one occasion, the Newburyport softball team pulled out a stunning 16-15 win over Amesbury yesterday afternoon, twice erasing four-run deficits before winning the game on a walk-off, bases-loaded walk.
Facing a 15-11 deficit with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, the Clippers were down to their last strike when they rallied and scored five runs to win the game. Earlier on, Newburyport had come back from an 8-1 deficit to take an 11-8 lead in the fifth, but Amesbury responded with six runs in the sixth to quickly reclaim the lead.
Though they were able to get on base at will, the Indians just couldn’t buy an out late in the game, and afterward coach Chris Perry said he’d never seen his pitching and defense evaporate like that.
“We gave up way too many runs,” Perry said. “When you score 15, you should win, but if you give up 16, you should never win. I thought offensively we did a good job, we hit the ball pretty good and got on base, but defensively, whew, we didn’t play a good game.”
Early on, it looked as if Amesbury was going to win handily. The Indians took a 4-1 lead going into the third, and then stretched that lead to 8-1 after the top of the fourth inning.
Rather than roll over and give up, however, Newburyport got its bats going and fought back. The Clippers got two runs back in the bottom of the fourth to make it 8-3 before exploding for an eight-run fifth inning in which the Clippers batted around the order and pulled ahead 11-8.
The rally started when Amy Sullivan and Shelby O’Brien got on base, giving the Clippers a first and third situation with one out. Junior shortstop Meghan Stanton drove in Sullivan with an RBI base hit, and then came in to score herself after second baseman Molly Kelley cranked a bases clearing triple.