NEWBURYPORT – Captain Carley Siemasko sailed her team into the playoffs with a walk-off double in extra innings yesterday, as the Clippers beat North Andover 7-6 on senior day.
Ashley Hodge began the bottom of the eighth inning by drawing a walk and was quickly moved to second base on Amy Sullivan’s sacrifice bunt. Siemasko would then send a fly ball deep into left field over North Andover left fielder Keri Chesniore’s head, scoring Hodge with the winning run.
“Honestly, I haven’t seen this team come out and play like this in a couple of weeks,” said Newburyport head coach Lori Solazzo. “It’s nice to see them hitting again and coming together as a team, and to do so now is good timing.”
Needing 10 wins to clinch a playoff berth, Newburyport entered yesterday’s game one shy and just 1-4 in its previous five games. In that stretch, the Clippers offense appeared to struggle when its defense was on, while excelling offensively when its defense was off. So while losing 12-11 and 14-9 in that stretch, Newburyport has also lost 4-1.
But against North Andover, the offense was relentless and the defense was strong. The Clippers would score in five of eight innings, thanks in large part to their captains. Siemasko would finish the game with three RBI on three hits, while Captain Amy Sullivan’s first inning triple set an early tone. Lauren Singer also had two singles for the Clippers, while Meghan Stanton had a single and a double.
After Newburyport jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning, North Andover would begin its climb back. With one run in the second and three in the third, the Scarlet Knights earned a 4-3 advantage. But the Clippers offense failed to falter, scoring one run in each of the next three innings and regaining the lead, 6-4.