AMESBURY — The last time Newburyport and Amesbury played, neither team could pitch or play defense to save their lives, and the Clippers wound up winning a 16-15 barnburner mostly because they got to bat last.
This time, the Clippers settled down, made all the plays in the field and beat Amesbury on their home field 10-3, completing the rare season sweep of their crossriver rivals.
“I think we played great,” said Newburyport coach Lori Solazzo. “We executed, we finished plays, we hit. That was huge. When you have a few errors here and there, at least when you’re hitting and getting girls in you can kind of make up for a little bit.”
Newburyport took command of the game right out of the gate, when junior third baseman Shelby O’Brien hit a three-run home run in the top of the first to give the Clippers an early 3-0 lead.
The Clippers extended their lead to 5-0 in the top of the third after junior catcher Lauren Singer drove in junior first baseman Carley Siemasko and O’Brien with a base hit to right.
Amesbury got a couple of runs back in the bottom of the third, when senior outfielder Alexis Boswell and Lucy Scholz reached on infield singles and then were driven in on a two-run single by senior catcher Amanda Schell.
The Indians had a number of chances to cut into the deficit over the following innings, but invariably something went wrong to derail the potential rally.
In the bottom of the second, the Indians had runners on second and third with one out, when sophomore Zoe Fitzgerald hit a ground ball to O’Brien, who tagged out Autumn Kligerman by the bag and then threw Fitzgerald out for the inning-ending double play.
Then in the bottom of the fourth, Amesbury had runners on second and third with two outs, but senior outfielder Alexis Boswell couldn’t get them in, striking out to end the inning.