(North Reading MA) This was a surprise.
North Reading (5-1) dominated Amesbury to the tune of 7-0 with terrific pitching (Julia Perrone) and nonstop hitting on Monday afternoon in Cape Ann League action.
This was the first loss for the Indians (5-1). The shutout was a real surprise since Amesbury had rattled five opponents with forty-five runs before running into NR junior Julia Perrone.
The Hornets’ righty allowed only four singles and struck out seven Indians. Julia ended the 2nd and 3rd innings with K’s after the visitors had runners in scoring position in each of them.
It was easy to miss the Hornets excellent pitching with all the hitting they did. The word “squibber” would not describe any of those hits. NR hit the fence on a line, hit one over the fence (Tara Driver), and had four doubles.
The only starter without a hit was leadoff batter Carly Swartz but Carly’s terrific defense at second more than made up for her not getting a hit.
Senior Lily Malloy drove in NR’s first two runs with a single in the second and a double to center in the third.
North Reading would get two more runs in the fifth inning on sophomore Guiliana Peppe’s two-out, bases-loaded double to left field.
The Hornets carried that 4-0 lead into the sixth. After two quick outs, Abby Paine singled. 3B Emily Robinson handled the grounder of next batter Julia Perrone okay but looked first to second and then threw wildly to first allowing Julia to reach and extend the inning. That was unfortunate for Amesbury because next batter Tara Driver lofted a high fly to right that cleared the fence for a 3-run homer.
This was Tara’s fifth home run of the season.
Starter Julia Perrone now has 46 strikeouts over 37 innings.
Amesbury starter Hayley Catania had three strikeouts but as the thirteen hits would indicate was not missing many bats on this afternoon.
With both teams in Division 2 you can almost be certain that to get where they want to get in the post-season they have a good chance of meeting again.
The Indians had defeated North Reading three straight years by one run each time. I was expecting a close game but NR on this afternoon would have none of that.
Julia Perrone, Cassidy Gaetta, Cassandra Pascucci, and Guiliana Peppe each had two hits for North Reading.
Lauren Fedorchak, Hayley Catania, Adrienne Harris, and Chloe Kramer singled for Amesbury.
Next game for North Reading is on the road Wednesday versus Ipwich.
Amesbury’s next game is hosting Masco on Friday.
Danny Ventura of the Boston Herald was in the house.
A wild throw to first by 3B Tara Driver found my ankle. That comes with the territory when you try to get action shots and have the reflexes of a sidewalk.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)