Revere was reeling after a late-season loss to Lynn Classical. The team with the superstar pitcher in Sabrina Palermo, dynamic three-sport captain in Logan DiCarlo, other proud seniors, and talented underclassmen hadn’t yet hit its full stride.
So head coach Joe Ciccarello scheduled a field trip to Prince Restaurant and Route 1 Mini Golf to bring the team together for a few hours of pizza, miniature golf, Richardson ice cream and fun.
The next game Revere went out and beat a powerful Westford Academy, 3-2, and it hasn’t lost since.
Sunday evening in a post-season classic at Martin Field in Lowell, Revere added another page to its historic season by edging Newton North, 1-0, to claim the school’s first-ever Division 1 North sectional championship.
“I couldn’t be prouder of this group of kids,” said Ciccarello. “This school needed a season like this and I could think of a better group of girls to lead the charge.”
Junior ace Sabrina Palermo lived up to her billing against Newton North with another brilliant performance while the Revere offense produced the only run it would need in the top of seventh.
Victoria Russo worked an 0-2 count in to her third walk of the game. Unsung hero Cassandra DiBella laid down a beautiful bunt to advance Russo to second. Ciccarello gave the green light to the speedy Russo and she stole third base. She then raced home on a wild pitch to give Revere a 1-0 lead.
Palermo set down Newton North in the bottom of the seventh to secure the victory, with Noelle MacDonald making a nice catch for the final out.
The Patriots won two thrillers prior to the North final, beating perennial Dual County League powerhouse Concord Carlisle, 3-2, and always-tough Central Catholic, 1-0.
“Central Catholic was as solid a team as I’ve ever seen defensively,” said Ciccarello.
Each team had chances to push a run across but Palermo and two C-C hurlers combined for seven scoreless innings.
The Revere defense made a huge play in the fourth to keep the game locked in a 0-0 tie. With a Central runner on second, Russo charged on a ball hit to left field and fired a clean relay to Stella who threw a strike to Cecere to nail the runner at home plate.
In the eighth inning Juliana Cecere went to the opposite field and blasted a two-out triple over the rightfielder’s head. Central chose to work around cleanup hitter Kristina Stella and issued the versatile senior a walk.
Russo was up next and conferred with assistant coach Paige Licata before her decisive at-bat, asking for the go-ahead to hit away. “Paige came over to me and said, ‘Don’t have her bunt,’’ said Ciccarello.
Russo followed with a looping hit over the first baseman’s head for the game-winner as pinch runner Gabrielle Cammarata crossed home, igniting a giant celebration.
The 3-2 victory over Concord-Carlisle and coach Lisa McGloin was a signal to Ciccarello that his team could beat the best teams in the state. Russo (bunt single) scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Lauren Hayes while Palermo struck out nine batters.
“To beat Concord-Carlisle on its home field was really great,” said Ciccarello.
Revere plays Bridgewater Raynham in the Division 1 state semifinals tonight in Lowell. Ciccarello and assistant coaches Butch Bruno and Paige LiCata scouted the potent BR contingent Monday night.
“We’re going to give it our best shot,” said Ciccarello. “We’re going to have scratch out some runs and hold them with our defense and pitching.”