ALYSSA CASSARINO put the ball in play and came up with a walk-off, scoring Alyse Mutti in the bottom of the 7th in a 5-4 win over Newburyport on Tuesday. (File Photo)



NORTH READING — Alyssa Cassarino’s fielder’s choice in the bottom of the 7th inning gave the North Reading High softball team a thrilling, 5-4 home win over Newburyport on Tuesday afternoon. Her grounder to second allowed pinch runner Alyse Mutti to score from third. Nicole Gadourey singled to start the inning and Mutti pinch ran for her.

Mutti stole second and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Caitlyn Reilly.

“It was nice to break through and finally win a close game,” said Hornet head coach Nicole Zimmerman. “It was very exciting.”

With the win, the Hornets improved to 7-5 overall and 7-1 in the Cape Ann League. Newburyport fell to 6-7 overall and 4-5 in the CAL.

The Hornets scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Clippers scored twice in the first, once in the third and once in the top of the sixth.

North Reading had seven hits overall as Riley led the way going 2 for 4. Cassarino had two RBI while Maggie Schultz had a two runs single.

Mia Vittozzi also had an RBI single in the first inning.

Pitcher Keely Hannon improved to 5-5 in the circle with a complete-game effort. She gave up four earned runs, three hits, two walks and she struck out 12.

This game was postponed twice on May 4th and 5th.

Last Friday, the team suffered its first CAL defeat as they were blanked, 12-0, by guest Amesbury in a five-inning mercy rule game.

The Indians, who are one of the elite teams in the state, improved to 10-0 overall and 8-0 in the league. They have allowed only two runs all year.

“I would put them up there with Tewksbury and Reading,” stated Zimmerman, as far as the best teams the Hornets have faced this season. “They hit the ball all over the place.”

The Indians had 17 hits off Hannon while the Hornets had only two hits off star pitcher Alana Delisle.

Hannon gave up 12 earned runs, no walks and she struck out three.

North Reading will go to Triton on May 13 and visit Gloucester in a non-league game on May 17. Both of those games will start at 4:30 pm.

The Hornets are looking to sweep Triton and gain a split of the season series against Gloucester.

On May 18, the Hornets host Pentucket with that game also starting at 4:30 pm.