Category Archives: North Reading

Strong second half sends Newburyport to 65-49 win over North Reading

Sami Cavanaugh (15 points) keyed the Clippers second half comeback

Ali Grasso (23 points)

(Newburyport MA) It isn’t often that you go to one game and see two of them.

If all you saw was the first half of tonight’s Newburyport/North Reading game, you would have been very impressed with the Hornets.  They made shots in close and from long range (five 3’s).  The North Reading defense forced nine turnovers in the first half and Julia Howse had several blocks on layup attempts. Junior Ali Grasso had thirteen points and NR led, 35-27.

Fortunately for Newburyport there was a second half and it was their turn to dazzle.  The Clippers caught the Hornets in the third quarter and blew the visitors out in the final quarter to win, 65-49.

“That was us in the first half,” said North Reading coach Bob Melillo afterwards.  “We didn’t play defense in the second half.”

The high NHS point total was a big surprise to the NR coach.  “We gave up 65 points.  We never give up 65 points to anyone.”

Newburyport fast break

Junior Sami Cavanaugh (15 points) explained how things got turned around: “Coach (Grutchfield) told us at halftime, ‘No second shots.  Be smart on offense.  No turnovers.  Every possession counts.”

Newburyport (6-4) has now won six of their last seven games.  “We can compete with anyone when we play well,” explained NHS coach Karen Grutchfield.

One significant improvement was lessening the turnovers.  In this game the Clippers had nine TOs in the first quarter but had only ten more over the final three periods.

“When we attack offensively, we’re a different team,” added Coach Grutchfield. “Tonight, we had four players in double figures.”

Katie Hadden (11 points) battles for a rebound

Sami Cavanaugh (15) led the Clippers.  Anna Hickman (12), Katie Hadden (11), and Meg Winn (11) were also in double figures.

Junior Ali Grasso (23 points) led the Hornets.

A key to the Newburyport win?  Ali Grasso had only two points in the final quarter.

The teams were tied, 44-44, going into that final quarter.

The Clippers tight defense, with Sami Cavanaugh covering Ali Grasso, limited the visitors to one Ali drive in the first four minutes.  Meanwhile, the Clippers get-to-the-basket approach turned up three layups, and four free throws.  Meg Winn added a triple.  That’s a thirteen-point collection!

The burst of good everything separated the Clippers, 57-46, from NR and the Hornets couldn’t recover.

Coach Grutchfield: “The game was called so tight.  Our team seemed to adjust to it better than they did.”

The Clippers now 6-4 started the season with three straight losses. “The story of our season has been too many turnovers,” said Coach Grutchfield.  “We talk a lot about protecting the ball.”

North Reading (7-3) had won four straight games prior to tonight’s loss.

The Hornets defeated Newburyport, 53-45, in December at North Reading.  Casey McAuliffe had seventeen for NR in the win.  Tonight, Casey ended with seven points and none of them after the first minute of the second period.

North Reading box

Newburyport box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

scramble

Anna Hickman (12 points) out front

Casey McAuliffe (10) in where shots get blocked

Maggie Pons (3) and Jessica Rosseau (44)

Maggie Pons in for two

Mia DeNofrio

Next generation

 

 

 

 

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Pentucket stays undefeated with 57-33 win over North Reading

Angelica Hurley pressures Ali Grasso

Jess Galvin (12) guards Casey McAuliffe (10)

(West Newbury MA) The names change but the approach to defense doesn’t.

Pentucket (3-0) held North Reading (2-1) to just two points in the first quarter and went from there to a 57-33 win on Friday night.

Both teams had started the season with two wins over Cape Ann League competition.

“Pentucket is ahead of us,” said NR coach Bob Melillo afterwards.  “Their intensity level is better, and they are very good at running plays.”

On this night, the Sachems turned up layups on inbounds plays, backdoor cuts, and a full-court pass (Angelica Hurley) that led to a layup (Angelina Yacubacci) against full-court pressure.

Arielle Cleveland (16 points) tracks down a loose ball

After the first quarter (13-2) the Sachems joined the Hornets in struggling to score.  That lasted into the final quarter.  NR was within nine (31-22) as the 4th period began.

In that final quarter the Pentucket defense, which had been very good, was joined by a good-things barrage down the offensive end.  The points started flowing from in close (seven layups) and the lead reached twenty (50-30) 5 ½ minutes into the last quarter.

Arielle Cleveland led all scorers with sixteen points, including fourteen in the second half.  “Arielle is a very good basketball player,” said Coach John McNamara.  “She dominated the last portion of the game underneath at both ends.  She is only a sophomore and going to get even better.”

Lauren Sullivan paced the Hornets with eleven points.

Coach Melillo was disappointed with the way his team played.  “I thought that we would be much better than we were today,” he said.  “There were too many easy baskets and second-shot baskets.”

Julia Howse (33) blocks a shot

“North Reading is a very good team,” said Coach McNamara.  “I thought that they might be the best team in the CAL.”  Not on this night.  The Hornets never got comfortable against the hounding man-to-man coverage they faced.  Much of their movement on offense was east-to-west rather than toward the basket.

The North Reading defense was solid in the middle periods.  Sophomore Julia Howse had at least four blocks by my count.  She also made several terrific cross-court passes.  I won’t get into her skills as a shortstop on the NR softball team!

Angelina Hurley and Angelica Yacubacci each had fourteen points for Pentucket.

“We work a lot on in bounds plays,” said Coach McNamara.  “If you can get a couple of them to work in a game it’s big.”

Coach Melillo was optimistic about the future.  “We’ll get better.  I think that now the girls understand how hard they have to play for 32 minutes to compete with a team like Pentucket.”

Jess Galvin (12) looks for an opening

The Hornets were able to limit the Sachems to only three 3’s.  However, by closely defending the perimeter they opened up driving opportunities for Angelina, Angelica, and Jess Galvin.

I asked Coach McNamara about the after-effects of the overtime loss to Foxboro in the D2 state semifinals.  “The kids have gotten over the Foxboro loss.  As I coach, I don’t think I will ever get over it.”

North Reading was 16-6 last season.

Pentucket was 23-3 last season.

Coach McNamara is in his 13th season with Pentucket and currently has a remarkable 260-44 won/loss record during that time.

Good crowd in house on a warm (for December) night outside.

North Reading box

Pentucket box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Planning

Tight Pentucket defense

Ali Grasso (3) guarded by Maddi Doyle

Angelina Yacubacci (22) drives past Julia Howse (33) and Mia DeNofrio (23)

Angelina Yacubacci (22) eyes defender Julia Howse (33)

Blocking out

Casey McAuliffe at the line

Scramble on the floor

Julia Howse (33) at the line

Mia DeNofrio (23) in for two

 

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North Reading holds off Amesbury 43-41

Last shot of the game

Lauren Sullivan (11 points) made two 3’s

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury rallied from thirteen down in the final quarter and had a shot to tie it at the buzzer.

But the shot missed, and North Reading escaped with a 43-41 win in Cape Ann League action on Tuesday night.

The ups and downs in this game were significant.

If you came early, the Indians were unstoppable and off to an 8-0 lead in the first 1 ½ minutes.

If you saw just the middle section it was all Hornets.  They drained three’s (8 of them) and took very good care of the ball.

If you looked in after NR sported a nice cushion (42-29) at the 6:41 mark of the final quarter, you saw Amesbury put pressure defense and thirteen straight points together and nearly catch the Hornets.

Flannery O’Connor (12 points) finds an opening

This certainly was a game where the good things and the things needing work were obvious for both squads.

“We needed to play that defense the whole game,” said AHS coach Gregg Dollas afterwards.

The visitors ran an excellent offense against single coverage.  They passed, they drove, they got to the basket, and drew fouls.  When the taller Amesbury defenders started to double-team in the final quarter, NR struggled and turned the ball over six times in four minutes and set up the Indians late-game run.

The Indians (1-1) got off to the electric start because scoring threat Flannery O’Connor was able to get the ball in close against light coverage.  That quickly changed and most of the rest of the game Flannery had at least two defenders and sometimes a third one nearby.

Ali Grasso (16 points) finds teammate Lauren Sullivan (4) closer to the basket

“Once we start hitting our shots, we’ll be tough to beat,” added Coach Dollas.  With Flannery so closely covered there were shots for teammates that didn’t fall this time.

North Reading (2-0) was good from long range.  The Hornets struck eight times from far out with Ali Grasso and Casey McAuliffe getting three each.

Ali paced NR with sixteen points while Casey added twelve.  Lauren Sullivan contributed eleven points.

Amesbury had twelve from Flannery and eleven from newcomer Avery Hallinan.

After the home team grabbed the quick 8-0 lead, North Reading followed with a 15-1 stretch that had them ahead, 15-9, early in the second period.

Later the Hornets put eight straight together in the third quarter when Lauren Sullivan’s full-court layup was followed by three’s from Ali Grasso and Lauren.

Mary Bullis over Kiley McCarthy (1)

But no sooner did that happen in the third quarter than Amesbury puts its own run of points together.  Mary Bullis hit a three from Alli Napoli and Flannery O’Connor drove the length of the court.  Mary Bullis finished the run by converting her own missed shot.

Typical of this game, however, NR came back with its own version of good offense and was sitting pretty (42-29) with 6:41 remaining.

It is hard to believe that the Hornets had only one point (Ali Grasso free throw) the rest of the way.

Ciara Sullivan hit a couple of jump shots and Avery Hallinan made six free throws to key Amesbury’s late-game rush.

The Indians were within a point (42-41) but came up empty in the final minute.  Ali Napoli got a shot off to the right of the lane in heavy coverage that missed to end the game.

Free throw shooting was a struggle for both teams.

The free throw shooting was not good in this one.  North Reading missed ten (11-for-21) and Amesbury eight (12-for-20).  The Indians had six misses within their thirteen-point rally in the final quarter.

Enthusiastic crowd on hand.

Alli Napoli took a heavy fall late in the game driving to the basket.  Somehow, she managed to play on.

North Reading box

Amesbury box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Ali Grasso dribbles into space

Amesbury defense collapses on Mia DeNofrio (23)

Avery Hallinan (11) tries to pass to Flannery O’Connor (12)

Flannery O’Connor with three Hornets

Floor tussle

Mia DeNofrio shoots a free throw

Mine!

Sadie Kermelewicz (4) stays with Ali Grasso (3)

Hustling Alli Napoli (21) caught Julie Howse (33) and blocked her shot

Lauren Sullivan (4) in for a layup

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Newburyport sweeps the CAL cross country championships

Lindsay MacLellan of North Reading (first)

Sam Acquaviva of Newburyport (first)

(Amesbury MA) The Newburyport Clippers had a big day at Woodsom Farm taking the Cape Ann League cross country titles in the boys and girls division.

Led by Sam Acquaviva and John Lucey, the Clippers added the CAL championship to their undefeated regular season.

“Sam is Sam,” said NHS coach Don Hennigar of his CAL championship repeat winner.  “That was the best race of John’s life.  To finish second in this league is so good.”

The misty/muddy conditions worried Sam although he ran most of the race alone.  “There was a lot that could go wrong in the conditions.  I always assume that the other runners will come back.”

On teammate John Lucey finishing second?  “It was nice to have John behind me.  It was unexpected.  He had a great race.”

John Lucey (2nd)

Newburyport won the race by forty points: (1) Sam Acquaviva, (2) John Lucey, (6) Dreese Fadil, (9) Cam Lasson, (17) Peter King.

Other top ten finishers: (3) Tyler Stranc, (4) Peter Lopata, (5) Sebastian Gilligan, (7) Will Kenny, (8) John Astrofsky, (10) Keegan Ritchie.

The totals in the girls’ race were much closer: Newburyport (68), Triton (76), Hamilton-Wenham (80).

The point scorers for Newburyport were; Ellie Schulson (4th), Lindsey Roberts (7th), Lucy Gagnon (14th), Olivia D’Ambrosio (20th), Caroline Wilson (23rd).

Clippers coach Don Hennigar: “Ellie Schulson (4th) and Lindsey Roberts (7th) were above and beyond today.  This was probably the best race Lindsey has ever had.”

Junior Lindsay MacLellan of North Reading was the upset winner.  Last year’s winner, Eva Feuerbach of Manchester-Essex, finished second.

Eve Feuerbach (2nd)

Don Hennigar: “That girl from Manchester-Essex doesn’t get beat very often and the girl from North Reading (Lindsay MacLellan) won by a lot.  Most people would call that an upset.”

I asked Lindsay MacLellan how she won the race.  “A lot of mud.  A lot of heart.  I’m a hilly person so this was the kind of course I like.  I gained separation (from Eva Feuerbach) at 2.75 miles.”

The win by Newburyport avenged a meet loss they had to Triton during the regular season.

Other top ten finishers; (3) Ellie Gay-Killeen, (5) Phoebe Rubio, (6) Lana Crosson, (8) Ava Cote, (9) Jemma Shea, (10) Sarah Harrington.

The race was held at Woodsom Farm in Amesbury.  Originally scheduled for Saturday at Bradley Palmer State Park but the weather forced a change.  The weather actually wasn’t all that great at Woodsom today.

Second-place finisher John Lucey: “It was a tough race for everyone.  I was able to plot the best course through the mud in some sections.  Coming down the hills was dangerous in some places.”

John ran much of the race with no one near him ahead (Sam Acquaviva) or behind (Tyler Stranc).  How do you stay tuned in?  “I kind of get delusional.  Then I keep going because I think someone’s right behind me.”

Excellent job done by Amesbury AD Glenn Gearin and his staff handling the parking and other logistical issues.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge if you click on them.)

Newburyport’s Katherine Sheehy and Annie Siemasko accept the first-place trophy

Girls start

Ellie Gay-Killeen (Triton) 3rd

Ellie Schulson (Newburyport) 4th

Phoebe Rubio (Pentucket) 5th

Lana Crosson (Masconomet) 6th

Lindsey Roberts (Newburyport) 7th

Ava Cote (Hamilton-Wenham) 8th

Jemma Shea (Hamilton-Wenham) 9th

Sarah Harrington (Triton) 10th

Boys start

Sam Acquaviva shows off the Woodsom Farm mud

Tyler Stranc (Triton) 3rd

Peter Lopata (Pentucket) 4th

Sebastian Gilligan (Masconomet) 5th

Dreese Fadil (Newburyport) 6th

Will Kenny (Manchester-Essex) 7th

John Astrofsky (Lynnfield) 8th

Cam Lasson (Newburyport) 9th

Keegan Ritchie (Triton) 10th

 

 

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North Reading and Triton finish with a 1-1 tie in girls soccer

Madison DiNapoli (22) and Bella Lesinksi (29) battle in the closing minutes

Anna Behringer (left) and Gabbie Barker (right)

(Byfield MA) North Reading (4-9-4) and Triton (5-11-1) ended in a 1-1 tie this afternoon in Cape Ann League girls soccer.

Not a win, but in a season with few of them for both teams, the ending was better than it might have been.

The Vikings entered the game having lost seven straight.

The Hornets nearly pulled this one out in the final three minutes. “We had some good chances at the end,” said North Reading coach Sean Killeen afterwards.

In that high-opportunity final minutes a brilliant rush by Hornets freshman Madison DiNapoli was only thwarted because of an even better defensive effort by Vikings senior Bella Lesinski.  Bella was able to stay with Madison as she raced down the middle and force a shot that was barely wide right.

Bella Lesinski (29) heads away a corner kick

That dangerous play was followed immediately by another scoring chance on a corner kick.  Alyssa Prusik took it and sent it in the middle where Triton’s Bella Lesinski stepped up and drove the ball back with a header.

Triton cleared the ball toward the other end, but it was only there momentarily.  Back came the Hornets and this time they were awarded a direct kick from straightaway in the closing seconds.  Junior Joanna Kellogg took the kick but sent it wide left as the final whistle sounded.

Not surprisingly, Triton was happy at the end (they survived) and North Reading a bit frustrated (they had serious late-game chances).

But in the bigger scheme of things, neither team lost.

The Hornets started the game with the sun in their eyes and the wind at Triton’s back.  The home team cashed in three minutes into the game.

“We’ve been working on getting our crosses better,” explained Triton first-year coach Dave Ducharme after the game.  Sophomore Kyla Prussman served a textbook cross from the right.

“Elisabeth (Lindholm) collected it and got a good angle to score,” added Coach Ducharme.

Elizabeth Lindholm (24) shoots past several Hornets

Elisabeth Lindholm’s shot rolls into the net with Julia Boyle (21) there to make sure

Twenty minutes later in was North Reading’s turn to execute a well-placed crossing pass.

Madison DiNapoli was the passer, after a strong run down the right side.  Madison’s pass was far enough out from the goal that Triton keeper Darcie McDonough couldn’t intercept it.  NR sophomore Katelyn Gorgenyi was where the ball was headed but before it got to her it was deflected accidentally by Triton defender Haley Morland into the net.

Madison DiNapoli wth room to execute a crossing pass

Ball deflects in off Haley Morland (14)

“We had a little bit of a breakdown on their goal,” said Coach Ducharme.  “It’s called an own goal.”

The final fifty-seven minutes of play largely avoided the goal-scoring areas until that exciting final three minutes in the Triton end.

Joanna Kellogg (10) finishes the game with a direct kick

Senior Bella Lesinski (CAL All-Star last year) saved the day for the Vikes in the final minutes.

Morgan Hall between Mia DeNofrio (23) and Julia Boyle (21)

I was impressed with Triton freshman Morgan Hall.  Not tall, but a very skillful dribbler and passer.  “Morgan has rarely been out of any games we’ve had this season,” said Coach Ducharme.

In the first meeting of the two teams (September 21st) Triton was the winner 1-0.  Morgan had the goal in that one assisted by Emily Colby.

North Reading had qualified for the post-season five straight seasons before this year.

Triton won as many games this year (5) as they totaled over the past two seasons.  Their last winning season was the 14-7-2 one they had in 2014.

Very impressed with Triton’s turf field.  Their lights are excellent too.

I’m guessing that a lot of attendees were a bit groggy after witnessing yet another World Series title become a reality late last night.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

NR goalie Alyssa Crugnale

Darcie McDonough

Elizabeth Lindholm (24) and Kyla Prussman (13) after goal

Elisabeth Lindholm looks for a rebound

Julia Beauvais (left) and Joanna Kellogg (right)

Kaitlyn Shevlin (6) pressed by Vikings

Katelyn Gorgenyi

Madison DiNapoli

Shot on net – Kyla Prussman (13), Abby Martin (2), Abby Griffin (4)

 

 

 

 

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North Reading cools off Triton 5-2 to remain undefeated

Grace McGonagle tagged out at home by Tara Driver after a great throw from RF Guiliana Peppe.

Winning pitcher Cassie Pascucci struck out seven Vikings

(Byfield MA) Not so fast, Triton!

North Reading was the opponent today riding an undefeated season and a win in April against Triton.

The Hornets (16-0) re-asserted themselves as the best team in the Cape Ann League defeating the Vikings, 5-2, on a sunny Monday afternoon.  Triton had won twelve straight games.

Using Mascores as my source, I figured out that NR has now won fifty straight CAL softball games.  Last loss?  May 18,2015 (5-4) to Pentucket.

North Reading defeated Triton 6-2 earlier this season and catcher Tara Driver launched three homers in that one.

This time around Triton was not going to let that happen.  In all four at-bats, Tara was intentionally walked.

Tara Driver was intentionally walked four times. She will play at D1 Niagara next year.

But we learned today that there’s more to the success of the Hornets than Tara Driver (commit to D1 Niagara).

“We took advantage of the little things,” explained Coach Michelle Morales. “Cassandra did a great job pitching.  She got the outs when she needed them, and she pitched around their bigger hitters.”

Triton coach Dave Dupere narrowed the loss to timely hitting, “They got a couple of timely hits and we didn’t.”

The Vikings (15-2) picked up single runs in the last two innings but stranded eight baserunners in the first five innings.

The visitors took the lead in the third inning when junior Cassie Pascucci doubled in Jess Ferrazzani from second.

The home team looked to have the equalizer in their half of the 3rd but a terrific throw by RF Guiliana Peppe nailed Grace McGonagle at the plate.

This game got away from Triton in the NR fourth inning.  The Hornets put together three runs and I wish that there was instant replay of that inning so that I could be sure that I have what happened right!  North Reading loaded the bases (singles Julia Howse & Abby Paine, walk Christina Simblaris) with no one out.  Then the “what happened” part kicked in.  Shortstop Bridget Sheehan fielded a grounder and tagged out a runner.  No run scored, and the bases stayed loaded.

2B Emily Karvielis then made a wild throw to first scoring two runs.  The play wasn’t over, however.  Jess Ferrazzani got into a rundown between third and home and scored.  The play still isn’t over.  Courtney Luker also got into a rundown between third and home and pitcher Katherine Quigley tagged her out at third.

Shortstop Bridget Sheehan in the middle of a 4-6-3 double play

“I told my assistant coach that it was one of those wacky plays that can happen in girls’ softball,” said Coach Dupere.  “It was weird and unfortunate for us.”

Triton broke into that 4-0 deficit with a run in the sixth inning.  It was another inning that instant replay would have been appreciated.

Colleen McCarthy and Liv Doane started the inning with hits.  Dani West moved them up with a fielder’s choice.  Eve Paicos hit a grounder to SS Julia Howse.  Julia tagged the runner near her and threw widly home, allowing Colleen to score.  Catcher Tara Driver found the bad throw and picked Eve Paicos off first base.  The potential for more than one run was wasted.

NR padded their lead to 5-1 in the top of the seventh.  Pinchrunner Elinor DeCleene was driven home by freshman Julie Howse.  This was the only time that intentionally walking Tara Driver hurt the Vikings.

Fay Paicos turns for home in the 7th inning

Another wasted big-inning chance in the Triton 7th.  The Vikings had a run in on CF Abby Paine’s drop of Zoe Cesati’s deep fly to center with only one out.  But Cassie Pascucci K’d Bridget Sheehan looking and got Emily Karvielis to ground out to end the threat and the game.

The Vikings had only two runs in their first meeting with NR.  Both Triton runs today were unearned.

Wasted chances for Triton not only involved hitting but also baserunning.

Coach Dupere: “That team (North Reading) is undefeated for a reason.  They’re a good team but we only lost 5-2. I would love to play them one more time because I think that we could beat them.  I am proud of our girls.  From where they were three years ago to now, I couldn’t be happier.”

Coach Morales: “Tara (Driver) has been walked a lot.  In the past Tara has swung at bad pitches but I told her today to take the walks.  I told her to look south for a college to play for because of the warm weather.”

No strikes for Tara Driver today

Tara Driver: “I’m not bothered that they walk me.  It shows respect.  Sometimes it’s frustrating when we’re not hitting, and they won’t pitch to me.”

Carisa Boyle ready to run

Tara on winning pitcher Cassie Pascucci: “She is very consistent.  Her changeup was good today and she threw a lot of curves.”

Bridget Sheehan: “North Reading is a good team.  They outplayed us today.”

The Vikings have a game left with struggling Hamilton-Wenham.  NR has four non-league games to play.

Both Triton and the Hornets are in Division Two so Coach Dupere’s wish to face them again could come true.  The Vikings have set themselves up for at least one home game in the postseason.

The weather was wonderful.  There may have been a few sunburns handed out!

(All of the pictures will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Liv Doane finds a popup

Coach Michelle Morales sends Jess Ferrazzani home

Cassie Pascucci doubled in the first NR run

North Reading outfield – Abby Paine, Guiliana Peppe, Jess Ferrazzani

Zoe Cesati eyes a pitch from Cassie Pascucci

Abby Paine attempts a bunt

Triton support along the fence

Colleen McCarthy slides home safely as Tara Driver chases a bad throw

Cassie Pascucci

Zoe Cesati reached base four times

 

 

 

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North Reading runs CAL streak to thirty-two defeating Triton 11-9

Cassidy Gaeta (#11) had two home runs against Triton

Tara Driver put North Reading ahead in the 7th with a 2-out, 2-run single.

(Byfield MA) North Reading rallied for six runs in the final two innings to overtake Triton, 11-9, on a cold, drizzly Monday afternoon of Cape Ann League softball.

The Hornets (16-1) were two outs away in the seventh inning from getting their CAL winning streak stopped at thirty-one straight.

But the visitors capitalized on a throwing error (3B Tessa Boyle) and some daring baserunning by sophomore Emma Valade to tie the score.  Triton RF Kendall Mitchell ran toward the infield to record the 2nd out of the inning and might have had a play at the plate to end the game but didn’t throw home right away and Emma was in easily.

Now with runners on second and third with two outs, the Vikings faced Tara Driver (one home run).  The thought of walking Tara was probably considered but the next batter was Cassidy Gaeta (two home runs).

The choice was to pitch to Tara.  This time the junior did not go long ball but instead went “smart” ball driving an outside pitch through the Triton infield into right field scoring two teammates.

The two-run cushion held up in the Triton seventh and North Reading maintained their lengthy CAL winning streak that goes back to May 18, 2015 when they lost to Pentucket.

2B Emily Karvalis chases a blooper into center

The Vikings (10-7) have lost three tough ones (two by one run) in a row.

Triton whacked sixteen hits against Christina Simblaris and Cassandra Pascucci and had baserunners in every inning but the fifth.  Everyone in the Vikings’ batting order reached base.

Steady shortstop play by Bridget Sheehan continues.

Pitcher Katherine Quigley had a life-threatening moment when Cassidy Gaeta ripped a liner at her.  Nice to see that Katherine was wearing a mask.  I would like to see masks on everyone in the infield.

How did Triton lose this game?  Too many mistakes.

The home team survived an infield error (3B Tess Boyle) in the second but a drop by Kendra Beauparlant (LF) scored an NR run in the third.

Colleen McCarthy out at third

Bad baserunning caught up to Triton in the 3rd when pinchrunner Taylor Penniman tried to score from 2nd on an infield pop single.  In the 4th Colleen McCarthy attempted to advance from second to third on an overthrow but was gunned down by North Reading CF Haley MacIntyre.

Plenty of hitting stars on both sides.  Triton’s Zoe Cesati, Bridget Sheehan, and Olivia Doane each had three hits.  Zoe scored three times.  Emily Karvalis drove three runs across while Olivia and Colleen McCarthy had 2 RBI apiece.

North Reading collected eleven hits off freshman Katherine Quigley.  Three of them left the field.  Tara Driver had four hits, drove in three runs, including the game winners, and scored three.  Senior Cassidy Gaeta had two two-run homers.

The Hornets only loss so far was last Thursday 6-4 against Marblehead.

Triton can take heart that they gave NR a competitive game.  That hasn’t been the case in recent years.  In 2016 NR won 17-6 and 12-0.  In 2015 it was 16-0 and 15-1.

The weather continues to unimpress me!  I’m wearing winter boots and a winter hat on May 22nd?

It was an entertaining game despite the conditions.

Seniors from both teams were honored before the game.

(All the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Triton starter Katherine Quigley

Cassidy Gaeta – two 2-run homers

Cassandra Pascucci was the winning pitcher

CF Taylor MacIntyre threw out a Triton runner at 3B

Triton shortstop Bridget Sheehan

Zoe Cesati had two doubles for Triton

Drop in the Vikings’ outfield

Force at second

Popup looking for a place to land

Courtney Luker runs into a bunt

Tara Driver batting

NR scored four times in the seventh inning

 

 

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