By Jim Sullivan
---- — NEWBURYPORT — The Triton softball team watched Newburyport crawl all the way back from a three-run deficit in the seventh inning yesterday, before returning the favor in the eighth en route to a 10-7 victory at Cashman Park.
“It’s a good win for us,” said Vikings coach Jim Hounam. “Because we’ve been struggling.”
Newburyport (3-2) sent Carley Siemasko to the mound and she struggled in the first, facing a bases-loaded situation. She allowed one run to score before retiring the side.
The Clippers made no noise against Vikings pitcher Mara Spears in the bottom half of the first, grounding into three straight outs. Kendra Dow reached on a single to start the second inning, then stole second base and moved over to third on a ground out before being left stranded.
Rylee Culverwell walked to start the top of the third for Triton (2-4) and moved all the way to third base on a single by Cori Simons. Then Lilly Anderson picked up an RBI, knocking in Culverwell with a single before Siemasko found herself in another no-out, bases-loaded situation. But the right-hander wriggled out of the mess again thanks to a force out at the plate, a pop-up and a pickoff at third.
Clippers catcher Lauren Singer had a one-out single in the bottom of the third, and crossed the plate off an Ashley Hodge double out to centerfield. Lea Tomasz tied things up with one swing next, thanks with an inside-the-park home run.
Triton had the bases loaded again in the top of the fourth inning, and this time, Siemasko was not able to escape without serious damage, walking in a run to give the Vikes the lead again and surrendering another run on a wild pitch. Anderson picked up another RBI single next before crossing the plate behind Simons on a triple from Kelsey Trudel. That chased Siemasko from the game in favor of Victoria Allman, who escaped the inning without further damage.
Allman started the bottom of the sixth inning with a single, then grabbed third on a single from Ashley Cassalini. Allman then reached home on a double-steal to inch Newburyport a run closer at 7-4.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Clippers shortstop Kendra Dow began Newburyport’s comeback when she reached with a single, and Casey Barlow drew a walk. Siemasko loaded the bases next with a single before Shelby O’Brien had a single herself, forcing Dow out at the plate. But Allman wasn’t through making an impact when she cleared the bases, tying things at 7-7 with a triple to send things into extra frames.
“We made some mistakes on the bases, but they hit the ball well,” Hounam said of his squad. “That’s what I love about this team. They get out there and they take their hacks. We gave up the three in the seventh. Then we bounced back in the eighth and got back three.”
That comeback began when Spears hit a one-out single and was moved over by a single from Culverwell before both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Spears was scored on a double from pinch hitter Kylie Gilroy before Kelsey Trudel cleared the bases with a single to give Triton the win after a 1-2-3 bottom of the frame.
“It was a good game,” Clippers coach Lori Solazzo said. “They came out playing better, and they came out wanting to win more than we did apparently. Comebacks are good, but they don’t always win games. You’ve got to work hard every inning.”