Peabody pitcher Tianna Dawe pitched a complete game shutout and fanned eight Danvers batters in the win. (Item File Photo)

Peabody blanks Danvers in a pitchers duel

DANVERS -- It was a true pitchers duel between the Peabody and Danvers softball teams on Tuesday afternoon at Great Oaks Elementary School, as two of the top pitchers in the Northeastern Conference in Peabody's Tianna Dawe and Danvers' Alexia Glynos went at it on the diamond. Thanks to some clutch hitting late in the game, Dawe and the Tanners were the ones who came out on top with a 4-0 win.

"We knew it was going to be tough coming into this one, we know how good of a team Danvers is," said Peabody coach Butch Melanphy. "But we came out and played well today. The girls are starting to hit, and they never give up out there."

Both pitchers were tasked with pitching on back-to-back days, as Dawe went the distance in a walkoff win against Revere and Glynos tossed a perfect game in a shortened game against Salem on Monday. Tuesday, Dawe once again pitched a complete game, giving up no runs on just four hits with eight strikeouts.

"She's always tough out there, she battles every pitch," Melanphy said of Dawe. "She's starting to get some calls on the corners, which is really helping her confidence out there I think."

Glynos had nearly the same performance, pitching a complete game and giving up four runs (two earned) on three hits with 12 strikeouts.

"I thought both pitchers really pitched well today, especially since both girls went out and pitched yesterday," said Danvers coach Colleen Newbury. "I actually thought that would translate into more hitting on both sides, but both girls were locked in again today. It came down to a few plays here and there, and Peabody was able to make them."

The game was largely uneventful until the fifth inning. Each team threatened in the early innings with runners in scoring position, but neither squad could get the big hit. Then, in the top of the fifth, the Tanners got a single and a walk to get runners on first and second with one out. Next up was Kristina Rossignoll, who came up with that big hit by knocking an RBI single into right field to make the score 1-0. After Rossignoll moved up to second base on the throw home, Mallory LeBlanc stepped into the box with runners on second and third and one out. LeBlanc went on to hit a long sacrifice fly into centerfield to bring in another run and Peabody took a 2-0 lead.

"That was our biggest problem last year, we couldn't come up with the big hits," Melanphy said. "This year, so far at least, we are. It's starting to come together with these girls coming up from the junior varsity and doing great things. It's been a big boost for us so far."

The Falcons had their chance to make a comeback in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases up with just one out. But it was at that point that Dawe locked it down, getting a strikeout and forcing a groundout to escape the inning unscathed.

Peabody notched two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh thanks to some errors in the field by Danvers. Rossignoll and Makayla Rooney both reached base and scored thanks to dropped balls in the outfield, bringing the score to 4-0.

Although Dawe did allow a one-out triple in the bottom of the seventh, she recovered to once again force a strikeout and a groundout to end the game.

For Peabody, this hot start to the season is extra special considering the opponents the Tanners have gone up against.

"This is big for us simply because we've beaten two very good teams in Revere and Danvers," Melanphy said. "I always tell the girls that there are no easy teams out there and that we have to play every game the same no matter the score, but getting these wins is definitely big for us."

The Tanners are back in action Friday against Wakefield. Danvers is off until the Falcons host Medford Tuesday afternoon.

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