The Champions: Revere Wins NEC Softball Title; Palermo Powers Patriots to Win

Revere softball coach Joe Ciccarello talked with his seniors in the preseason about leaving their legacy on the program.

That legacy will now be one of history and unprecedented achievement: the 2014 RHS softball team is the undisputed Northeastern Conference champion. Director of athletics Shaun Hart can order the banner that will hang proudly forever at the high school.

Junior pitcher Sabrina Palermo was as phenomenal in the finale as she has been all season. The ace right-hander struck out 15 batters and allowed just two hits in the 2-0 title-clinching win over Beverly Friday. Earlier in the week, she tossed a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts as Revere bested Peabody, 6-0. Palermo also shut down English on 11 strikeouts in a five-inning victory.

There were some tense moments against Beverly as the Patriots couldn’t solve pitcher Emily Pitman who allowed just two hits. But senior Cassandra DiBella provided the breakthrough with some heads-up baserunning in the top of the seventh. DiBella drew a walk, stole second, advanced on a wild pitch, and then alertly stole home for the first run of the game. Ally Hinojosa followed with a sacrifice fly to bring home Logan DiCarlo for an insurance run. Juliana Cecere, who has been outstanding as Palermo’s exclusive batterymate the past two seasons, had a hard-hit single in the inning.

Palermo set down the side in the bottom of the seventh to lock up the win and the NEC title. Revere finishes with a 15-5 record and is preparing for a home game in the State Tournament Sunday at 1 p.m. against Medford or Lincoln-Sudbury.

Ciccarello said he knew as far back as last year that his team was championship-caliber.

“I knew that we were starting to climb the ladder – we were 10-10 two years ago and 12-8 last year,” said Ciccarello. “We also challenged Sabrina to be great and she went out in the offseason and really worked at it. She took that challenge on and really owned it last summer and in the winter and wanted to become that next-level pitcher.”

Ciccarello also credited his seniors for their excellent leadership and dedication to the team.

“It really became evident that this year’s team was going to be a special one after watching the leadership of four-year starter Logan DiCarlo and the other seniors in our supporting cast: Noelle MacDonald, Cassie DiBella, Lauren Hayes, Stephanie Gregorio, and Angela Curtis.”

“I asked Logan and the other seniors, “What is going to be the legacy of this class?”

Ciccarello said he pointed out that there were no softball championship banners on the wall at the school.

“I said to the girls, wouldn’t it be a great legacy to leave a banner in the gymnasium,” recalled Cicarello. “Our No. 1 goal was to put a banner up in this gym. The seniors kept saying that they want that banner and now their legacy stays forever.”

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