After completing its second undefeated season in team history last spring with a 18-0 record, Andover Softball hopes to continue its winning ways this year and clinch its fifth Big East Championship title in six years.
Specifically, the team hopes to maintain a strong offense and defense, while also working to form a stronger team dynamic. Co-Captains Victoria Bergeron ’16 and Kristina Haghdan ’17 will lead the team in its efforts this year.
Bergeron said, “Every year our goal is to be as good as we can be. Last year we achieved our goal and finished the season with an undefeated record. This year, again, the goal is be the best that we can be and I think that if we achieve it, we will be a winning team.”
“Kristina and I are working hard to improve our team dynamic because in years past, it hasn’t been the best, and while that hasn’t necessarily translated on the field, it has affected our team off the field. It will be important for us to work hard and to support each other this season,” continued Bergeron.
After losing six Seniors from last season’s lineup, including former Captain and leading hitter Ravenne Nasser ’15, the team will look to other impact players and some of its newcomers: Post-Graduate (PG) and pitcher Erin Gallo ‘16, PG and outfielder Jacqueline Diffley ’16, and New Upper and infielder Hillary Dole ’17 to propel Andover to another successful season.
Last year Haghdan and Nasser teamed up as some of the strongest pitchers in the league. The pitching will remain top-notch this year with the addition of Gallo, who will be playing softball at Columbia next year. Andover’s lineup will also be crucial to its success.
Sidney Holder ’17 said, “We have a mix of power hitters and bunters, which is good because we can throw other teams off balance by having players who can knock it out of the park followed by a girl who can place the ball where they want on the field.”
Haghdan said, “This year we don’t have as many power hitters as we did last year. I have faith that some of our batters will develop and yield more power as a result of that.”
Although the team has lost some key players, the new additions to Andover’s roster bode well for the team’s offensive game.
Bergeron said, “This year, our offense is more focused on people who are line-drive hitters and smart base runners. While I don’t think we will be breaking the record for number of home runs in a season (25) like last season, our preseason games in Florida showed that we do have a very strong offensive team and everyone contributes.”
Andover will also rely on its defense and dominant pitching to propel the team to another successful season.
Bergeron said, “Defense wins games, which is very true in softball. Our pitching is so strong and behind them is a solid defense that makes the outs that they need to make.”
In an email to The Phillipian, Coach Drench wrote, “We focus on becoming the best team we can be. On any given day, the teams we face are capable of beating us; we want to avoid beating ourselves, which is all too easy to do in this sport.”
Andover will travel to Tewksbury High School on Saturday to continue its preseason training before its first regular season game on Friday, April 8.