Eagle girls win battle of unbeatens



SKennsoftball
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CATCHER KATIE BISHOP canít quite get the tag on a Portsmouth runner during action April 22 in North Conway. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
April 25, 2011
NORTH CONWAY — Someone was going to emerge from the Kennett-Portsmouth softball game on Friday, April 22, with their first loss of the season.

When the Clippers jumped out to a 2-0 lead after two innings, it looked like the southern girls might be that team, but the Eagles came roaring back with a couple of homers and took a 7-3 win to knock the Clippers from the ranks of the undefeated.

Portsmouth got a run in the first inning after a leadoff double. Jordyn Moore had a great play at third base, but an infield grounder scored the game's first run.

Kennett promptly answered in the bottom of the inning, as Amber McPherson reached on an error and Alyssa Chick walked to open the inning. Whitney Roberts grounded to third to force McPherson, then Portsmouth got a strikeout and a pop up to third to end the threat.

Plymouth added another run in the second. After a strikeout to start the inning, Roberts hit a batter. The next hitter bunted and the ball was thrown away, allowing the first runner to circle all the way around for a 2-0 lead. Roberts induced two grounders to short to close the inning.

Brie Roberts doubled with one out in the bottom of the inning but again the Eagles couldn't capitalize.

Two base hits and a walk loaded the bases for the Clippers in the top of the third, but a nice grab by Chick in center helped the Eagles get out of trouble without a run scoring.

Kennett got on the board to open the third, as McPherson ripped a shot over the fence in left-centerfield for a solo homer, cutting the lead to 2-1.

After keeping the Clippers off the board in the top of the fourth, Kennett tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Katie Bishop led off with a base hit and moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Sam Janos. Brie Roberts grounded to second to move Bishop to third and Moore doubled the Eagle catcher home to tie the game at two.

The Clippers went in order in the fifth and in the bottom of the inning, Kennett took its first lead. McPherson led off with a hit and Chick beat out an infield hit. Whitney Roberts then launched a fly ball to right that scored McPherson. One out later, Bishop delivered a base hit for a 4-2 lead. Janos and Brie Roberts both walked, but the Eagles were caught in a rundown to end the inning before more damage could be done.

The Clippers went quietly again in the sixth and Kennett tacked on some insurance. With two outs, McPherson walked and Chick knocked a base hit. Whitney Roberts then roped a homer over the fence in left field for a 7-2 lead.

Portsmouth squeaked across another run in the top of the seventh, but couldn't plate any more and the Eagles had the 7-3 win.

"They're a good club," coach Peter Ames said of Portsmouth. "We did a good job of limiting the damage early and made a couple of nice plays.

"We gave them a run early, but I thought if you can keep them at a run here and there, hopefully you'll start to hit, which we did," Ames continued. "The key for us is we can't chase pitches that are up against a pitcher that good. The kids did a nice job of not doing that four the most part."

Ames was pleased with the offensive production up and down the lineup, particularly considering the middle part of the lineup had been struggling a bit.

The Eagles picked up an 8-2 win at Kennett Middle School on Monday, April 18, against White Mountains Regional.

The Eagles managed only two hits, but took advantage of 14 walks or hit batsmen to plate the eight runs.

"It was a tough day to hit," Ames said.

Whitney Roberts gave up six hits, but they were spread out across the innings, which allowed the Eagles to keep the Spartans at bay.

"To be 3-0 at this point it about as good as we can be," Ames said.

Kennett's game on Wednesday, April 20, at Kingswood was postponed until May 5.

The Eagles will play at home against Sanborn on Friday, April 29, at 4 p.m. They head to Berlin for a 1 p.m. game on Saturday, April 30, and to White Mountains on Monday, May 2, at 4 p.m. On Wednesday, May 4, the girls head to Laconia for a 4:15 p.m. game.

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