Orioles Fly to a Rain-Soaked Win

Newport — First Conant opened up and then the skies opened up. The result was a rain-shortened, five-inning 4-1 win for the Orioles over Newport High yesterday in a matchup of two of the better softball teams in New Hampshire Division III.

Both teams came into the game on hot streaks. Newport had won six straight games and Conant its last four. And they both have been scoring runs. The Orioles outscored their foes 50-5 during the win streak, while Newport outscored its opponents 73-20. At 13-3, Newport entered the game in fifth place, but will likely drop a notch as the Orioles are 13-2 and have a game tomorrow with Hopkinton. Newport concluded its regular season yesterday.

Both teams will receive a first-round bye for the upcoming 18-team Division III tournament.

Yesterday, the Orioles got a three-run homer from Ivy Chalka in the first inning and were in front 7-1 and batting in the top of the sixth when the game was halted. Because the sixth inning was not complete, the score reverts to the last full inning, which was the fifth.

Conant pitchers had thrown three shutouts in its last five games and yesterday’s hurler, southpaw Kelsey Smith, had a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts. She struck out the side in second and fifth innings.

Newport’s run came in the fifth inning, when Sophie Willis walked, went to third on a Mindy Carl single and scored as Stephanie Carl groundout. The only other Newport hit was a third-inning single by Katrina Batista.

In the Conant first, a walk and single was followed by Chalka’s home run, which went deep to left.

After the first inning, Newport pitcher Stephanie Carl surrendered just one more hit and one more run through the fifth inning. She retired the side in order in the second and third innings.

Newport will have a home game when the second round of the playoffs begins next week.