Published May 13, 2021
By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI
NORTH READING — Back in 2019, the North Reading High softball team went 18-4 and lost 5-4 to Arlington Catholic in the Division 2 North quarterfinals. Four seniors graduated from that team.
Last season, which was canceled due to the pandemic, the Hornets lost three more seniors who never got a chance to play their final year.
This spring, the Hornets have seven players back who played in 2019 as head coach Michelle Roche returns for her fifth year as head coach.
Four of the players back are this year’s senior quad-captains: Shea Hanson (pitcher), Kaeleigh Arington (catcher), Julia Howse (shortstop), and Rachel Vardinski (second base).
The other three veterans back are Adriana Vittozzi (senior- outfielder), Gabby Janasiewicz (senior- outfielder) and Alyssa Demetri (junior- center fielder).
“We should be able to win our division (Cape Ann League Kinney),” said Hornets assistant coach Paul Greene, who is Michelle’s father. “I am impressed with the talent we have here.”
North Reading will play a 13-game schedule as they will play only league games this spring. They will play twice against their CAL Kinney division teams and once against the CAL Baker schools.
The league is one team smaller than 2019 as Masconomet left for the Northeastern Conference last September.
This season has gotten off to a flying start as, on May 7, the Hornets improved to 2-0 beating visiting Lynnfield by a final of 8-1.
Hanson improved to 2-0 in the circle with a complete-game effort. She gave up one earned run, five hits, no walks and she struck out eight Pioneer batters.
“She was outstanding,” stated Greene. “She was able to stay ahead of the hitters in the count.”
The Hornets scored in five of the six innings they batted.
Senior newcomer Sarah Gerber led the offense going a perfect 3 for 3 with a walk and three runs batted in.
“She is going to be a big help for us,” said Greene, as the transfer student stared for the Hornets volleyball team during the Fall 2 season.
Demetri was 3 for 4 with two RBI’s while Hanson helped her own cause going 2 for 4 with two runs scored.
In the season opener on May 5, the Hornets pummeled guest Pentucket, 15-2, in a five-inning mercy-rule game.
North Reading scored six times in the bottom of the second to break the game open early on.
Gerber had another big game at the dish going 3 for 4 with three RBI including a two-run home run. Freshman first-baseman Kristen Galvin had a memorable debut going 2 for 2 with a two-run homer and a walk.
Hanson, who pitched all five innings, went 2 for 4 at bat with a team-high four RBI while Arington was also 2 for 4. Demetri was 2 for 3 while Howse went 2 for 5 with two RBI.
The Hornets finished with six multiple hitters against the Sachems.
The next three games for the team will be on the road and will all start at 4 p.m.
On May 14, the Hornets go to Ipswich. They then visit Triton on May 17 and Newburyport on May 19.