Published in the June 22, 2017 edition
NORTH READING – Team CJM Builders (Visitors) beat out Farrelly Realty (Home) 12-10 to become the 2017 North Reading U10 Division Softball Champions. Team CJM went into the playoff with a strong season standing – 10 game win out of 13 played against five other North Reading U10 teams as well as Reading and Wakefield.
The visitors started off at bat and quickly closed the first inning with the maximum inning tally of 4 runs led by strong hits from both Samantha Cassarino and Talia Ranieri. The second inning quickly brought in another 4 runs from the bottom of the order with a steal from Sucheta Srikanth at home. Farelly then put up a strong in-field lineup and tight pitching by their pitchers – Julia Scammon and Alexandra Sfikas that saw no runs being scored by CJM in the third and fourth inning.
The fifth inning opened up ever so slightly for Team CJM as they scored 1 run but the unlimited sixth inning proved to be the “real winner” that netted 3 more runs scored by Talia Ranieri, Julia Mulik and a steal at home by Alison Lanciani putting CJM over the top with 12 runs.
At defense, CJM yielded 4 runs in the first inning but a two-inning pitching streak by U10 Phenom Samantha Cassarino added just 1 run to Farrelly’s tally. CJM Catchers Sami Mutti and Sucheta Srikanth supported these tight innings by shutting down Farelly’s two attempted steals to home. Third grade superstar Alison Lanciani followed Samantha at the mound for the fourth inning but yielded 4 runs that put Farelly in the lead 9-8 at the end of the fourth inning. But Alison quickly fine-tuned the pitching to yield just 1 run and a couple of brilliant pitcher-fielded throws to first followed by a strikeout to closeout the fifth. Despite her best efforts, Farelly was still in the lead 10-9 at the end of the fifth inning. Samantha Cassarino came back in the unlimited sixth inning to shut down Farelly with three outs in 8 pitches – a strikeout at the bottom of the order followed by a brilliant play and replay between shortstop, Talia Ranieri and first baseman, Alison Lanciani to extract two back-to-back outs at the top of the order.