SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

April 11, 2014

Fast Pitches: McBride, a guiding force for Danvers

(Continued)

”Having a strong catcher is equally important as having a good starting pitcher, especially as many teams like to play ‘small ball’ in our (Eastern Independent) League,” noted Pingree coach Jim MacLaughlin. “Both Jill and Kelsey are not only excellent at calling the game for the pitcher, but also at directing our defense for a given situation.”

Last year Witwicki led the Highlanders in RBIs, while Dion was the team leader in homers.

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Marblehead avenged its tournament loss from last year with a big 8-1 victory over Newburyport four days ago.

Last season the Magicians were upended by the Clippers at home, 3-1, dashing their chances of advancing in the postseason. This time around Marblehead not only wants back in the postseason, but will be looking for its tournament win since 2011.

This week has been, and will continue to be, especially challenging for the Magicians, who play four games in five days and because of a rainout Tuesday. Today’s game against Gloucester will be its third in three days.

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Former Salem News Player of the Year Taylor Ahearn is lighting it up one the mound for Curry College this spring. The former Bishop Fenwick standout has a 10-2 record, which accounts for more than half of the Colonels’ wins this spring.

In the 83 innings Ahearn has pitched, the junior has allowed 58 hits and 22 runs. Along with her 0.92 ERA, the Salem native earned 86 strikeouts.

Ahearn was co-MVP her senior at Bishop Fenwick after going 17-5 with a 1.07 ERA. She struck out 194, walked just 27 in 151 innings and allowed only 84 hits all year.

Ahearn went 10-8 as a freshman at Curry and 8-8 in 2013. She’s already matched her career high in wins this season with 14 games to go.

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Four of our area teams — Danvers, Beverly, Marblehead and Salem — all got wins in their respective season openers.

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