By BOB TUROSZ
NORTH READING — Hornet softball bats continued to wreak havoc with CAL pitching last week, scoring 28 runs in two games against Triton and Newburyport to come within one game of qualifying for the state tournament.
The girls were hoping to snag that win on Monday when they travelled to Pentucket to take on the Sachems, but a late uprising by the home team led to a 5–4 loss for the Green and Gold. North Reading’s record is now 10–4 and 9–3 in the Cape Ann League. The team needs to win 11 games to qualify for the states this year because they’re playing a 21 game season.
On Thursday, North Reading made short work of Triton, 16 to nothing, in a game that was ended after 5 1/2 innings under the Mercy Rule – the third time this season umpires have ended a game early in North Reading’s favor.
Playing at the Little School, North Reading jumped on top in the first inning, 4–0 on a single by Julia Perrone that scored Carly Swartz from second base. With runners on first and second, Kendra Butner then smashed a three run home run over the center field fence and the Hornets never looked back from there.
Sophomore Perrone was the starting pitcher for the Hornets, pitching all five innings, throwing 73 pitches, 43 for strikes. Butner moved to first base for this game. Her bat accounted for six total bases in the game, including the home run and a double.
North Reading added three runs in the second. Senior Sophia Warren drew a walk, followed by a double by Perrone. Butner’s long single plated Warren and Perrone and a double by Tara Driver drove in Butner.
The hurt got worse for Triton in the bottom of the third, when North Reading batted around, sending 12 batters to the plate, scoring nine runs. Kelsey DeMild and Monica Ferrazzani started the inning by drawing walks and hits came fast and furious from Swartz, Warren, Perrone, Driver and Kellie Sovack, sandwiched around walks from the Triton pitcher.
The only inning North Reading failed to score was the fourth but the contest was out of reach for Triton by that point. The closest Triton came to scoring all day was the third inning, when they had runners on first and second with two out but Perrone reached back and induced a ground ball to third for the final out.
Hornets 12, Clippers 2
The team traveled to Newburyport on May 13, where they subdued the Clippers, 12–2. Butner pitched all seven innings for the Hornets, throwing 93 pitches, 68 for strikes.
North Reading led 4 to 0 after three frames but their big inning came in the fifth inning, when they scored seven times and tacked on another tally in the seventh. The Hornets had 18 quality at bats against two Newburyport pitchers, including three from Butner, five from Warren, two each from DeMild and Bryanne Riley, three from Cassidy Gaeta and others from Swartz, Sovak, Taylor Connor and Tara Driver.
Pentucket 5, North Reading 4
North Reading took a 4–0 lead into the sixth inning at Pentucket field Monday night, but the Sachems scored five runs in the bottom of that inning and went on to win, 5–4. North Reading led throughout the game up to that point, scoring single runs in the first, fourth, fifth and sixth innings on the strength of 11 hits. Senior Kendra Butner was the losing pitcher, throwing 110 pitches, 65 for strikes. The Hornets’ four runs came on RBI courtesy of Butner, who is an offensive as well as a pitching threat, and Bryanne Riley, Cassidy Gaeta and Julia Perrone. Seven Hornets had quality at bats: Butner, Riley, Gaeta, Perrone, Carly Swartz, Sarah Sabella and Jill Trischitta.
North Reading left eight runners on base. Their next game is Wednesday, May 20, vs. Masconomet at the Little School field, after the Transcript’s deadline.