Area softball fans may need to give Triton a closer look.
After taking down Newburyport and Pentucket last week, the Vikings (4-4) traveled to Amesbury (8-1) and promptly handed the perennial superpower its first loss of the season 4-3, thanks to a gritty performance from pitcher Mara Spears.
“Our team has been playing well for the last six games,” said Vikings coach Jim Hounam. “We’re hanging in there, we’re working out of some sticky situations. They had us a couple of times today. But we worked out of it. Mara has been incredible.”
Amesbury ace Carolina Merrill took the ball, and she and Spears cruised until the bottom of the third inning when Spears faltered, giving up a triple to Alexis Boswell with one out. Cassandra Schultz drew a walk next, before Amanda Schell knocked in Boswell with a single to center to put Amesbury up one.
Spears had another scare in the bottom of the fourth when Ashley Valme reached on a single and moved to second on a single from Autumn Kilgerman. Both runners moved up a spot on a ground out before Lauren Fedorchak popped up to end the inning.
Boswell led off the bottom of the fifth with a single past third base and stole second next. Schell bunted Boswell over to second and Mckenzie Cloutier knocked in the run before scoring herself on a triple from Valme to give the Indians the 3-0 advantage.
The Vikes would have more to worry about than three runs in the next at-bat when Spears hit the deck pitching to Kligerman. The junior remained on the ground clutching her right knee, but would stand on her own power, waving people off, before getting Kligerman to pop out to end the inning.
“I had an injury when I was a freshman,” Spears said of an MCL sprain, two years ago. “It acts up sometimes, and that’s just what happens.”