WAIT FOR IT. Bryanne Riley settles in under this pop fly and waits for the ball to come to her. (John Friberg Photo)

WAIT FOR IT. Bryanne Riley settles in under this pop fly and waits for the ball to come to her. (John Friberg Photo)


NORTH READING — The NRHS varsity softball team finished the season with a rush of momentum, winning two out of their last three, including victories over Triton and Tewksbury to finish the season 16–5 as co–champs of the CAL Kinney Division with Newburyport. The girls finished with a flourish to wrap up the Number 3 seed in the D2 North states tournament that began this week.

Weather permitting, North Reading’s first tournament game was June 3 vs.14th seeded Gloucester at the Little School field.

In their final game of the season, the Lady Hornets swamped Tewksbury, 11 to 8 at the Little School field in a game that wasn’t as close as the score might indicate. North Reading scored five runs in the first and led 8-0 after the first two innings. The Redmen were able to push across a run in the top of the third but the Hornets responded with three more in the bottom of the frame to take an early 11-1 lead.

Tewksbury managed to chip away a little more in the fourth and fifth, making it an 11-4 game and staged a minor uprising in the seventh when they added four runs to make the final score 11 to 8 but the game never felt in jeopardy for the Lady Hornets. Senior Kendra Butner pitched five innings for the victory, throwing 93 pitches, 59 for strikes. Julia Perrone pitched the sixth and seventh innings, throwing 59 pitches, including 32 strikes. The Hornet offensive machine was front and center in this one, with a home run from Taylor Connor and doubles by Cassidy Gaeta and Tara Driver. Multiple RBI were contributed by Butner (2), Sarah Sabella, (2) and Driver (3). Connor, Gaeta and Perrone also drove in runs

Blasted by Rockets, 9–2

The week began on dispiriting note when the team traveled south of the Ipswich to take on the Reading Rockets. For whatever reason the girls came out flat and lost to Reading, 9–2.

Reading jumped on top quickly and led 3–0 after the first inning and 7–0 after five. The Hornets clawed back to make a game out of it by scoring two runs in the top of the sixth but Reading quickly got a pair back in the bottom of the frame. North Reading failed to score in the top of the seventh and the final score was 9–2.

Senior Kendra Butner threw 4.1 innings for the Green and Gold and took the loss. Julia Perrone pitched the final 1.2 innings. Butner had the team’s only RBI and North Reading committed an unusually high three errors.

Triton demolished, 15–1

The girls bounced back strong in their next game and the Triton Vikings were their hapless victims. North Reading scored in every inning to make short work of the Vikings, 15–1 in a game that was ended after five innings under the Mercy Rule – the fourth time this season the umpires have ended a game early in North Reading’s favor.

Sophomore Julia Perrone was the game’s winning pitcher. The Hornets amassed 13 hits in their relentless attack against two Triton hurlers, surprisingly without a home run. Instead the team smashed five doubles by Kendra Butner, Sophie Warren, Bryanne Riley, Monica Ferrazzani and Perrone.

Perrone led the batting parade with 4 RBI, followed by Riley with 3. Other runs were pounded home by Butner, Warren, Kelsey DeMild, Amanda Catania, Sara Sabella, Cassidy Gaeta and Tara Driver. An amazing 55 percent of all Hornet trips to the plate were quality at bats.