READING — The Peabody softball team now finds itself just three wins away from a state title, as the No. 9 Tanners went on the road to knock off No. 8 Reading by a score of 7-4 in a Division 1 tournament Round of 16 game at Reading High School Tuesday afternoon.
It was another massive day for sophomore star Abby Bettencourt, who nearly hit for the cycle at the plate by going 3-for-3 with a home run, a triple, a double, one RBI and four runs scored. She also picked up the complete-game victory in the circle, allowing four runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts.
Emma Bloom went 1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI in the victory, while Isabel Bettencourt (2-for-4) and Avery Grieco (1-for-4) each added one RBI.
The Tanners didn’t waste any time jumping out to a lead in this one, and it was none other than Abby Bettencourt who got the ball rolling. She led off the game with a triple to deep right field, then came right around to score on a throwing error to make it 1-0. Bloom reached on an error next, then came around to score when Grieco slapped an RBI single up the middle.
But Reading chipped away starting in the bottom of the first, getting things rolling with an RBI single from Analise Grady. Then, after a two-run home run from Grace Weston in the bottom of the second, the Rockets jumped ahead 3-2.
But just when the momentum might have been shifting toward Reading, Peabody took it back. Abby Bettencourt led off with a double to get things going, then Bloom followed it right up with a two-run blast over to dead center field — putting the Tanners back in front at 4-3.
And Peabody never gave the lead back from that point on.
Abby Bettencourt capped off her stellar day at the plate with a two-run home run in the top of the fourth to make it 6-3, then she put in even more work in the circle by working her way out of two separate bases-loaded jams.
After Isabel Bettencourt’s RBI single in the top of the seventh made things 7-4, Abby Bettencourt and the Tanners closed out the game by turning a 1-6-3 double play in the bottom of the seventh.
Peabody (20-2) now moves on to the Div. 1 Round of 8, where the Tanners get a home game against No. 16 Newton North — which upset No. 1 Bishop Feehan Tuesday — on Friday (TBD).