GROVELAND – On the eve of the state tournament, Pentucket saved its best performance of the season for last as the Sachems beat Newburyport 4-1 to wrap up the regular season.
After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the third, Pentucket (11-9) rallied with three runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 3-1 lead. Pitcher Carley Desjardins took things from there, holding Newburyport (9-9) to just 1 unearned run on 3 hits over 7 innings of work along with 5 strikeouts and 4 walks.
“This is the best game we’ve played all year,” said Pentucket coach John Walsh. “We played great offensively and defensively, we’re peaking at the right time.”
The Sachems got contributions from up and down the lineup, with five players recording two hits on the day. Kassidy Kennefick went 2-2 with a run and an RBI, Tyler Feeney went 2-4 with an RBI double and a run, Mary Kate Corrado went 2-4 with a run, Nicollette Kent went 2-2 with an RBI and Maddie Ammon went 2-3 with a run. Pentucket also benefited from some timely fielding when Newburyport did get runners on base. In the second inning, the Clippers got two men on with one out, but Desjardins struck out the next two batters to retire the side, and then in the fourth, the Sachems disrupted a potential rally when catcher Maddie Binding threw out Newburyport’s Amy Sullivan at second with no outs. Newburyport’s best offensive inning came in the third, when the Clippers scored their only run on a sacrifice bunt by Meghan Stanton to drive in Ashley Hodge. Hodge started the inning with a double, and after scoring on the Stanton’s bunt, Newburyport got a single from Shelby O’Brien and a walk from Morgan Johnston to put two men on with two outs.
Junior Lauren Singer then came to the plate and ripped a deep fly ball to right field, but the ball found its way into Kent’s glove, stranding both runners and ending the Newburyport threat. In the bottom of the third, Kennefick reached third after Hodge let a catchable fly ball fall in deep in center field, and then Tyler Feeney ripped a double to left field to tie the game at one. Corrado singled afterwards to advance Feeney to third, and then Feeney scored the go ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Nikki O’Rourke.