A veteran of the sport since first grade, shortstop Rachel Moore ’19 has played for Andover Girls Varsity Softball the past two seasons. With her hitting power, fielding finesse, and team mindset, she has proven to be a key asset for the team, according to pitcher Emma Slibeck ’20.
“On the field, Rachel can always be relied [on] to make the tougher plays. She also had an extremely powerful presence at the plate. Sometimes we joke about how many home runs Rachel hits. Like, if she hasn’t hit one already in a game, she’s bound to do it soon… Off the field, Rachel, while she seems quiet, is actually a very funny person… I know can rely on Rachel to make me laugh during games or practices even when they aren’t going well,” said Slibeck.
For her accomplishments on the diamond, Moore has been named The Phillipian’s Athlete of the Week.
How were you introduced to the sport? What experience did you have before coming to Andover?
I began playing softball when I was six, and tee ball before that. I have been around the sport since birth, because my older sister also started at a really young age, and continued to play in college. Both of my parents are huge sports fans, and wanted us to be athletes too. My dad played softball when he was young, and signed me up for the town league before I began playing for year-round travel teams when I was eight. It quickly went from a way to bond with my sister and dad to a newfound love for the game.
What is your favorite memory from the sport?
My favorite memory is actually really recent. This past weekend, in [the] Big East [tournament], we played [Noble and Greenough], who had beat us in our first game of the season. We all knew we had improved since then, and that we could beat them if we played up to our full potential. It proved more difficult than anyone would have thought, and we ended up playing 11 innings. It was long and nerve wracking for everyone, and more than half of us walked away with croaking voices from cheering so loud, but we got the win, and that was all we cared about. After the last out happened, we all sprinted together and started jumping and hugging each other. It was such a rewarding win because no one gave up despite how sore, tired, or hungry we all were. It was a total team effort and definitely something I will remember for a long time.
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
I don’t really have any pre-game rituals, but when I get up to bat I always have to make sure the part of my bat that says “Louisville” is facing me when I look at it. I don’t know why, but when the pitch is coming in I just imagine the ball hitting the name directly on the face of the barrel.
What positions have you played throughout your career? What do you play now? Which is your favorite and why?
I have played every position growing up, including pitcher and catcher, but my favorite has always been third base. I just like how everything happens so fast and usually relies on your reaction time. I recently stopped pitching last year because it became something I didn’t enjoy as much as when I first started. It was a big step for me because I had been pitching since my first year of playing softball, but I knew it was for the best. Right now at Andover, I play shortstop. I would say shortstop has been my main position for a few years now, just because of the needs of the teams I have played on, but I think I will always feel most comfortable at third base
Who have been some of your key influences both at and outside of Andover for softball?
My dad and my sister have definitely been huge influences in my softball career. My dad coached me on the field when I was younger and continues to coach me on the sidelines. He is always there with advice about what I am doing wrong, motivational pep talks and occasionally comments on what I am doing well. He has been my biggest supporter, and it has gotten to the point where I know what he is thinking from his facial expression when I look out and see him in the stands. He is always willing to go out into the backyard and play catch or front toss, because I know he loves the game just as much as me, if not more. My sister is someone that I have always looked up to because she has so much experience. I would always go to her high school games, and made it to as many college games as I could. My sister is so supportive and gives the best pep talks. I know that since she has graduated college, she misses the game, and comes to as many of mine as she can.
What are your personal and team goals the season?
My team goal is to finish the season with two more wins, and to continue to improve and grow more as a team into next year. My personal goal is to improve my fielding to become a more versatile player.
What has Andover Softball taught you?
Andover Softball has taught me to never let up, even when we are ahead.