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Peabody slides by Salem in charity softball game

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While raising thousands of dollars for Haven from Hunger, Peabody’s charity softball team remained undefeated against their Salem counterparts, winning the Fourth Annual City Council Charity Softball game by a score of 8-5. However, armed with a potent offense and a defense to match, Salem got off to an impressive start, racking up three runs by the end of the first inning.

Mayor Edward Bettencourt took the mound for Peabody and was joined by other city officials for the Sept. 1 game at Lt. Ross Park. While at bat, Bettencourt launched one ball deep into center field that almost cleared the fence before being successfully fielded by Salem.

Peabody got on the board in the second inning and School Committee Member Thomas Rossignoll scored the tying run to make it a 3-3 game. “It was a lot of fun, it was a great time for a great cause,” he said after the game. From there, Peabody surged ahead when Bettencourt’s brother Kevin broke the tie to put the Leather City in front.

Bettencourt also demonstrated some masterful defense as he jumped up from the mound to snatch a Salem hit in the sixth inning.

Despite a late two-run push by Salem, Peabody was able to hang on for the win after seven innings. “Our bats kind of died and Peabody’s woke up,” said Salem’s Christopher Palawara.

He said this year’s final score was much closer than in prior years. “We’re on the up and up,” he said.

In addition to Rossignoll and the Bettencourt brothers, Peabody also had School Committee Member Joseph Amico playing first base as well as fellow committee members John Olimpio and Jarrod Hochman manning other positions.

Since 2013, the game has been organized by Peabody Councillor-at-Large Thomas Gould and Salem City Council President Elaine Milo.

Gould said the game typically raises between $1,000 and $2,000 each year for the Haven. “We picked the Haven because it’s one of the best nonprofits around,” he said. “There are more and more kids going hungry; unfortunately it’s a growing population.”

Gould said the event has steadily flourished during the past four years. “The interest has grown every year, we play for pride,” he said.

Gould remained modest about his responsibility as one of the game’s organizers. “It’s not a big deal; we’re just trying to reach out and have some fun with some colleagues,” he said.

By Christopher Roberson





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