(Amesbury) I have seen ten of the twelve softball teams in the Cape Ann League (missed Pentucket and Georgetown) this season and in my opinion there is none better than the senior-less North Reading Hornets.
The Hornets mugged a good Amesbury team, 14-1, on a beautiful Friday afternoon.
Amesbury (13-4) played the Hornets (15-2) a month ago and lost a close one (2-0) at North Reading. There was no similarity between that game and the one I saw this afternoon at Amesbury.
NR was ahead 8-1 after 2 ½ innings and never in trouble thereafter.
Amesbury starter Carolina Merrill limited North Reading to three hits a month ago but this time around everyone in the Hornet lineup had at least one hit. NR totaled sixteen hits.
Tarah Reilly whacked a bases-loaded triple in the third and Terri Ferrazzani did the same thing in the seventh.
Tarah had four hits for the Hornets batting second and drove in five runs. The NR sophomore did a good job in the first inning of dirtying up her uniform as she tripped rounding third and ended up diving back into third.
Amesbury’s only run was in the second. Alexis Boswell singled in the infield and reached third on a wild pitch and a fielder’s choice. Rachel Cyr singled Alexis home from there.
But that was it for the Indians even though they ended up with seven hits off NR pitcher Terri Ferrazzani and left runners in every inning. Amesbury, however, never had more than one hit in an inning except the second when they scored their run.
The Indians hurt themselves in the field in a couple of innings. A bobble by second baseman Alexis Boswell in the second opened that inning. Later with runners on first (Shelby Carney) and third (Leslie Zewiey), NR sent Shelby into a rundown. Leslie was able to score while the rundown was underway and then Amesbury threw the ball away during the rundown and Shelby ended up on third. Shelby would later cross home with NR’s third run of the inning on Tarah Reilly’s single.
There were two drops by first baseman Sarah McCullough in the sixth that gave the Hornets an unearned run.
NR had three triples in the game.
North Reading has won nine straight. They have Manchester-Essex away on Monday and finish with Lynnfield and Tewksbury.
The Hornets are undefeated (13-0) in the Cape Ann League. AHS coach Chris Perry’s recollection was that the last undefeated CAL softball team was his in 2006.
Tewksbury defeated NR early in the season. Masco was the other team to have a win over North Reading. Two weeks later Masco and NR met again and the Hornets won, 17-2!
Not only did everyone in the North Reading lineup have hits but all of them scored at least one run. Remarkable display of top-to-bottom hitting.
North Reading arrived a half hour late minus Coach Rusty Russell. Rusty was singing at a funeral so assistant coach Nicole Zimmerman ran the team.
Alexis Boswell and Autumn Kligerman had two hits apiece for the Indians. Autumn was sick and unable to play until the third inning.
Catcher Cassie Schultz made a diving catch of a popup down the first base line in the fifth.
Amesbury faces Georgetown at home on Monday.
The regular season is over for both teams next week. Both teams will play in the post-season. NR went on in the Division 2 North semi-finals last year. I would not be surprised to see them do better than that this time around.
(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)