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Softball Eagles take a pair from Knights

Kennett coach Peter Ames nets 350th softball win with 9-6 victory

KENNETT’S SAM JANOS gets hit with the throw as she ducks back into third base as Kingswood’s Megen Pollini waits for the throw from catcher Erin Deely. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
May 18, 2010
NORTH CONWAY — The Kingswood softball team scored four runs in its first time to the plate on Wednesday, May 12, in North Conway, but over the following 10 innings, the Kennett Eagles shut them out and picked up a pair of wins over their county rivals.

The two teams first took the field to play the conclusion of a game that began in Wolfeboro on April 27. That day, the Eagles had stretched out an 8-2 lead heading to the fourth inning when rain brought the contest to an end.

With Kingswood as the home team, Kennett's Lauren White started things on the right foot for the Eagles, as she led off the top of the fourth inning with a homer over the fence in left center field to make it 9-2. Kingswood pitcher Kelsey Libby settled down and, despite a one-out walk, got out of trouble in the inning. She did get some help from Kendra Copithorne, who made a nice play on a pop-up and on a grounder for the final two outs of the frame.

Kingswood then came out swinging against Whitney Roberts in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Jess Sargent opened the frame with a base hit and Morgan Ekstrom reached on an error. After two strikeouts, Erin Deely knocked a base hit to load the bases and Brittany Roy laced a base hit to plate two runs. Rachel Delaney followed with a triple to drive in two more runs, cutting the Kennett lead to 9-6 before Roberts got a grounder to second to end the inning.

"We came out not intimidated and got those four runs, but after that we couldn't touch her," Kingswood coach Dan Chick said. "We had a hit here and there, but we couldn't put together an attack."

Amber McPherson led off the fifth with a double, but was stranded when Libby got the Eagles to pop up three times in a row. Roberts returned the favor in the fifth, striking out two Knights.

Deely made a nice play on a pop up to start the top of the sixth inning. Brie Roberts and Jordyn Moore had base hits for the Eagles, but they couldn't get a run, as Libby got a strikeout to get out of the inning.

Allie Ripley reached on an error to open Kingswood's sixth and moved to second on a nice sacrifice bunt by Megen Pollini. However, the Knights couldn't get anything else across.

Ripley and Roy turned an unusual 7-3 double play with nobody out in the seventh, as Ripley fired the ball from left field to double off the Eagle runner. But the Knights were unable to push across a run in the bottom of the seventh and the Eagles had the 9-6 win.

"We really slipped after that one inning," Chick said. "We stopped seeing the ball well and we stopped hitting it."

Game two

The second game was all Kennett, as the Eagles took the lead in the first inning and never looked back on the way to a 6-0 win.

Whitney Roberts set down the Knights in order in the first and the Eagles got a run in the first of the inning. McPherson walked and moved up on an Alyssa Chick sacrifice bunt. Whitney Roberts walked and on a fly ball to right, a couple of bad throws allowed McPherson to scamper home with the first run. Kingswood pitcher Emily Perkins got out of trouble with a grounder to short, where Ekstrom made a nice play to end the inning.

Sam Janos and Brie Roberts both walked in the bottom of the second for the Eagles, but a nice play by Pollini helped end the rally.

Sargent got a two-out double deep to center field in the top of the third inning, but she was stranded at second base after a grounder to the pitcher ended the inning.

Whitney Roberts opened the third inning with a homer over the fence in left center field, giving Kennett a 2-0 lead. Perkins got a strikeout and after a walk, induced two pop flies to second base to end the inning.

Kingswood threatened in the fourth. With two outs, Deely had a base hit and Roy reached on an error. Delaney followed by reaching on an error to load the bases, but Whitney Roberts induced a grounder to third to end the inning.

Perkins induced three grounders in the bottom of the inning, with Ekstrom making another nice play to end the inning. The Kennett girls made two nice defensive plays in the top of the fifth as well, with Sam Janos at second and Marissa Strong at third turning in solid efforts. Ekstrom did beat out an infield hit and stole second, but a strikeout ended the frame.

Kennett upped the lead in the fifth inning. Chick led off with a base hit and Whitney Roberts doubled off Delaney's glove in centerfield. Karli Olson took over on the bases. Faye Roberts reached on an error to plate a run and after a nice grab by Sargent in right field, Janos reached on an error to push across another run. Moore grounded to third to put one more run across the plate and a 6-0 lead for the Eagles.

Roy walked with two outs in the sixth, but couldn't score and Chick tripled in the bottom of the inning and was stranded, thanks in part to a great grab by Ekstrom at shortstop.

Whitney Roberts set down the Knights in order in the top of the seventh to close out the win.

"It's always an unusual situation when you're finishing a game," Kennett coach Peter Ames said. "It was nice having Lauren lead off with a homer.

"Kingswood was ready to hit and they did, but we righted the ship and held them the rest of the day," Ames added. "It's big for us, it assures us of finishing over .500."

The first win was also the 350th win of Ames' softball coaching career.

He praised the strong defensive effort of his squad, as well as the pitching of Whitney Roberts, who threw a game and a half.

"She got better as she went," Ames said. "And we did a nice job of settling in defensively.

"Any day you can get two wins in one day is a good day," he added.

"We just couldn't put things together," Chick noted. "Emily has been pitching better, but she didn't get the back-up support she needed."

More Eagles

Kennett opened the week with a 15-2 throttling of Laconia on the road in the Lake City on Monday, May 10.

Next up for the Eagles will be the final home game of the regular season against St. Thomas on Monday, May 24, at 4:15 p.m. The Eagles will head to Portsmouth for a 6:30 p.m. contest on Wednesday, May 26.

More Knights

The Knights opened the week with an 8-2 loss to the Clippers of Portsmouth on Monday, May 10.

"That was a good effort from a good team," Chick said.

The Clippers scored four runs in the first inning, a frame in which the Knights gave the visitors seven outs.

"We made four errors and you can't do that against a good team," he said. "Once you do, you're definitely opening the flood gates."

The Clipper pitcher struck out 15 Knight batters in the contest.

Next up for Kingswood is a trip to Plymouth for a game on Friday, May 21, at 4:15 p.m. The Knights finish the regular season with a home game against Coe-Brown on Monday, May 24, at 4:15 p.m.

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