Published in the April 28, 2016 edition

HORNET SENIOR Sarah Sabella is all over this pitch, which she whacks up the middle for a base hit. (John Friberg Photo)

HORNET SENIOR Sarah Sabella is all over this pitch, which she whacks up the middle for a base hit. (John Friberg Photo)


NORTH READING – The NRHS Lady Hornets softball team completed a very successful week dominating previously undefeated Amesbury, on Monday, 7–0 at the Little School Field to run their record to 6–1, (6–0 in the Cape Ann League) and first place in the CAL large school Kinney Division.

Earlier in the week the Hornets beat Lynnfield and Triton but the victory over Amesbury was eye–opening since Amesbury came into the game at 5–0 and with a high powered offense that had put up 45 runs in their previous games.

But Hornet junior pitcher Julia Perrone was more than up to the task, allowing only four singles while striking out seven. Perrone needed only 83 pitches (59 for strikes) to quell the Indians. She got first–pitch strikes across against 23 of the 27 batters she faced. Meanwhile, the potent North Reading offense clobbered Amesbury for 13 hits.

Tara Driver led the hit parade with four total bases, including her third home run of the week, (fifth of the season), which drove in three runs in the sixth inning. North Reading scored single runs in the second and fourth inning, thanks to Lily Malloy, whose single in the second and double in the fourth plated both runs.

Guiliana Peppe gave North Reading a 4–0 cushion in the fifth inning with a two–out, bases loaded double to left field. Perrone, Peppe, Cassandra Pascucci, Malloy and Cassidy Gaeta each had two hits for North Reading.

RIGHT BEHIND YOU. There's no escape for this Lynnfield runner who's about to be thrown out by Hornet senior Lily Malloy. (John Friberg Photo)

RIGHT BEHIND YOU. There’s no escape for this Lynnfield runner who’s about to be thrown out by Hornet senior Lily Malloy. (John Friberg Photo)

North Reading 5, Lynnfield 3

Freshman hurler Cassandra Pascucci pitched a complete game, 87–pitch gem on Friday, limiting arch-rival Lynnfield to three runs on three hits as the Hornets won their fifth game of the season, 5 to 3 at the Little School Field.

Lynnfield jumped on top, 1 to 0, in the first inning, but no Pioneers crossed the plate again until the sixth, when North Reading was comfortably ahead.

North Reading jumped into the lead, 3 to 1, in the second inning and added single runs in the third and fifth. After the first inning, Pascucci had the Pioneers baffled for the next four innings and shut them down in the seventh frame, also. Two-thirds of all Pascucci’s pitches were for strikes and she allowed only one earned run as the Hornets committed an uncharacteristic three errors. Of the 32 batters Pascucci faced, she put 21 of them in a hole right away with first-pitch strikes.

Tara Driver led the Hornet offense with a home run and Cassidy Gaeta and Julia Perrone contributed doubles. RBIs went to Driver, Lilly Malloy, Taylor Connor and Perrone, (2), who also had a sacrifice fly.

Vikings pillaged, 17-6

Hornet bats pounded Triton pitching last Wednesday, 17 to 6, behind the pitching of Julia Perrone in a 10 a.m. away game.

North Reading bats scored in every inning except the fifth, doing most of their damage in the second, when 6 runs crossed the plate. The Hornets ended the seventh inning by tacking on 5 more, when the game was already well out of reach for the home team.

Tara Driver, Cassidy Gaeta and Julia Perrone all smashed home runs, while Cassandra Pascucci added a triple and Gaeta chipped in with a double.

A total of 15 Hornets saw action in this game as coach Michelle Morales made use of her bench with a big lead. Pitcher Perrone threw 128 pitches, but was on target throughout, as 66 of her offerings were for strikes and got first pitch strikes against 19 of the 35 batters she faced.

The girls played yesterday at Ipswich and will host Manchester–Essex on Monday, May 2 at 3:45 p.m.