PEABODY — One run was all Tianna Dawe needed.
Peabody High's senior captain pitched a one-hit shutout and the Tanners made their lone run stand up against a senior-laden North Andover squad in a 1-0 Division 1 North softball preliminary round triumph at Kiley Field.
Dawe and Knights senior Sam Ahlholm were locked in a pitcher's duel, and the game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth when the home team strung together three hits to get on the scoreboard. Janelle Richard started it off with the hardest hit of the evening, a double to center field, and Gina Terrazzano followed with a single up the middle. Senior captain Makayla Iannalfo then ripped a single up the middle to score Richard.
What looked like it could be a big inning for the Tanners didn't materialize when Terrazzano was called out for leaving early, and Emma Bloom flied out. But that one run was enough for Dawe, who had been battling an illness but said afterwards she felt fine.
"I did a lot of resting up to get ready. We won, and that's what matters," said Dawe. "It goes to show how strong we are all the way through the lineup; this was a team effort. When the top of the order isn't hitting, the bottom will pick it up.
"Luckily, a lot of my pitches were working and my velocity was up. I was hitting the outside corner a lot, and my defense played so well behind me."
Now 14-7 on the season, Peabody will take on host Acton-Boxborough () in a first round clash Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Dawe had retired 11 of the 12 batters she faced from the last out of the third inning on before Haley Gove walked to open the sixth. She went to second on Talia Brown's sacrifice bunt and over to third on a ground out, but was left there when Alyssa Roderick grounded to second.
Peabody's infielders came up with several nifty fielding plays. Makayla Rooney handled four chances flawlessly at third, and second baseman Iannalfo scooped up three grounders to get outs.
Dawe also fielded her position well, stabbing a line shot by Brown in the first and four grounders back to the mound until letting one go through her legs with one gone in the top of the seventh (with the visitors unable to capitalize). She then bore down to get her seventh strikeout and a grounder to shortstop to end the game.
The lone hit off her was a shot to shortstop by Jordyn Apperti in the third inning, when the Knights left runners on first and third.
"This was a really good game, the type you want to be in," said Peabody head coach Tawny Palmieri. "We knocked off a good team today; wee don't see that league (Merrimack Valley) throughout the regular season.
We had some long at-bats and made their pitcher work. Honestly, I expected us to bust it open. We did an awesome job 1-through-9 batting."
The Tanners threatened in the third inning when Iannalfo worked a one out walk off Ahlholm and Emma Bloom moved her along with a sacrifice bunt, but Iannalfo was thrown out trying to go to third on the play.
"I wanted to get the girls fired up and sent her," said Palmieri. "You always hope things will happen when you put the ball in play. It didn't work though."
North Andover only had five runners on base all game. Ahlholm gave up six hits, walked one and struck out seven.
Rooney had two singles for the Tanners, and catcher Kristina Rossignoll beat out an infield hit.
"It was a good game, pretty evenly matched, but Peabody played a little better," said Knights coach Caitlin Flanagan (12-9).. "Their pitcher did a real nice job and kept us swinging from our heels."