CUMBERLAND – It would have been very straightforward to put in writing off the Cumberland High softball workforce 2½ weeks in the past after the Clippers stumbled and bumbled out of the gates and started its Division I season with only one win of their first eight video games.
But after dropping a 9-1 determination to Pilgrim on April 25 that sunk Cumberland deeper into the basement of the Division I-North standings, the Clippers got here again in a giant method two afternoons later to rout South Kingstown, 14-2.
And they didn’t cease there.
On Monday afternoon at a sunny, but windy Tucker Field, the Clippers climbed to the .500 mark by selecting up their sixth straight victory, a 9-2 overcome the Burrillville/North Smithfield co-op workforce. At 7-7, the Clippers discovered themselves in a three-way duel for first place with also-.500 Cranston West (6-6) and first-place Smithfield (7-5), which was scheduled to host Cumberland on Tuesday evening.
How did the Clippers’ turnaround take form? Excellent pitching and protection absolutely helped them, and so did a potent offense that averaged 9.7 runs throughout the win streak.
But off the sphere, the Clippers, who graduated 9 seniors from final spring’s workforce that was one of many closing 4 groups standing within the state playoffs, wanted to seek out the precise chemistry with their six returnees with a solid of newcomers.
“We had such a big turnover from last year that it just took them a little while to start believing in themselves,” stated veteran head coach Marty Crowley. “We had to find the right combinations here and there.”
For a younger workforce with simply 4 seniors, a 1-7 begin to a season could possibly be devastating, “but I think our coach made us never give up,” stated sophomore middle fielder Allie Casavant. “(Crowley) was always pushing us in practices; we were always on top of things, and we never gave up on each other. And we had a lot of team-bonding moments, where we went bowling and had a team pasta party, so we really got to know each other and grow with each other.”
The Clippers’ six-game win streak has been a wild experience for everybody, from the gamers and coaches to their followers, and that features a home-and-away sweep of their regular-season collection with Cranston West that noticed Cumberland win the opener on April 29 at Tucker Field, 9-8, and the rematch final Saturday evening at Cranston’s Brayton Avenue softball complicated, 4-2.
And whereas the final 2½ weeks have offered loads of highlights for Cumberland, none stands out greater than what Casavant did within the first victory over the Falcons.
With the Clippers taking part in within the spacious confines of Tucker Field, which is finest fitted to a males’s slowpitch softball league, Casavant did one thing that will have by no means been executed in a highschool sport there – and positively not in Crowley’s twenty years with this system – smack a house run over the fence in middle area.
Casavant, who bats leadoff, recalled that she was 0-for-2 on the time when she noticed a pitch down the center that was about to interrupt towards the outer a part of the plate.
“And I think I was so far up in the box that I just hit it before it broke,” she famous. Once she made contact, “it felt like a good hit, and I just started running, and when I was rounding first and was halfway to second, I saw the center fielder stop running. In my mind, I was saying, ‘Why did she stop running?’”
She quickly discovered why as soon as she heard her mother, who was watching the sport from the outfield, screaming, “’That’s out!’ and then I just stopped running,” Casavant added. “I just stood there and my mouth was wide open because it didn’t feel real. I don’t look like someone who could hit it out, so I surprised myself and I definitely surprised my mom, because I hit it right to her. I don’t think I’ll ever feel that way again.”
That residence run sparked the Clippers to a come-from-behind victory, as they scored 4 runs within the backside of the seventh inning to tie the rating and walked off with the win within the eighth, as sophomore C.C. Lanzi (two triples, single, three runs batted in) and senior Emily Lanoue (three hits, two RBIs) additionally fueled the comeback.
“All those years and all those great players we had not only here, but on opposing teams,” Crowley stated, as he introduced up a laundry checklist of All-State gamers over time who put up large numbers on his residence area. “There were a lot of kids who could hit for power, but Allie hit it right and it just went.”
“And our season has kind of turned around since then,” added Crowley. “That was a big win over Cranston West, and since then, we’ve been on a roll, and that (home run) really kind of ignited us.”
Speaking of residence runs, the Clippers have clocked eight throughout their win streak, and within the win over S.Okay., Casavant legged out two inside-the-park homers and drove in 5 runs.
Junior first baseman Reilly Austin, whose two-run homer helped propel the Clippers to their victory over the Falcons final Saturday evening, belted her seventh residence run of the season in Monday’s win over Burrillville/N.S. with a two-run inside-the-park shot to deep left-center area that gave her workforce a 2-0 lead.
And final Tuesday, in a 12-6 win over Moses Brown, the Clippers flexed their muscle mass and obtained residence runs from sophomore proper fielder Lacie Grenier, junior shortstop Kaitlyn Berger, and Casavant. Junior second baseman Mackenzie Norton, Lanzi, and Berger additionally drove in two runs every.
In the circle, the Clippers obtained a wonderful outing in Monday’s win from sophomore southpaw Jillian Ryone, who pitched a six-hitter that included six strikeouts, one stroll, and no earned runs, and in final weekend’s victory over the Falcons, Lanzi tossed a four-hitter and fanned 9 batters alongside the way in which.
The Clippers’ first-year catcher, junior Erin Bessette, has additionally quietly executed a strong job dealing with the pitching workers.
In Monday’s victory, the Clippers broke a 3-3 tie within the backside of the third inning, when with two outs, senior Jenna Rivers, who turned in a wonderful job defensively at third base, labored a stroll and raced residence on a double by Ryone. That hit was almost caught by the precise fielder, who dove after it in shallow proper, however got here up in need of gloving it.
The Clippers broke the sport open within the sixth, when with two outs, they scored 5 instances. Lanzi and Lanoue capped the rally with RBI singles.
The Clippers, who’re scheduled to host a close-by Massachusetts college, King Philip Regional of Wrentham, in a non-league take a look at on Friday at 4:15 p.m., is not going to return to their D-I schedule till subsequent Friday, May 20, once they start a fast home-and-away collection with Scituate that can start that Friday at 5:15 p.m. on the Spartans’ Manning Field and wrap up the next morning a 11 a.m. at Tucker Field.