Andover Softball Eliminated from Big East Tourney

Falling into a three-game losing streak, the Andover Girls Varsity Softball team learned the hard way how crucial the mental aspect of the game is to softball. Co-hosting the Big East Invitational Softball Tournament with Brooks this past weekend, Andover squeezed out a 3-2 win against Exeter, and then went on to be eliminated in the third round after losing to BB&N 13-2 and Lawrence Academy 3-1. On Wednesday, Governor Dummer defeated PA 4-2. The Lady Blue squeaked by with a win against Exeter. Pitcher Amy Prosper ’06 held Exeter to only two runs and retired six consecutive batters before running into trouble in the top of the seventh inning. After Prosper threw more than 100 pitches in the tense win against the Red, shortstop Melissa Tetreau ’06 filled in as pitcher to give Prosper a chance to rest for the next game. Under difficult circumstances, Tetreau made her pitching debut against defending champions BB&N (13-1). The Knights quickly pulled to a 10-0 lead in the first inning, with the defense contributing multiple errors. However, after the initial 10 runs, Tetreau settled down to allow only three more in the following innings. PA batters added two runs to the score, finishing the game with a 13-2 loss. “I just tried to do my job,” commented Tetreau on her pitching debut. “Pitching was frustrating, but I wanted to help out the team, so I gave it my best.” In the loser’s bracket, Andover faced Lawrence Academy in its third game of the day. Coming onto the field with determination, the Lady Blue quickly earned a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Prosper, re-taking her place at the mound, pitched a respectable game. She also hit a triple with no outs in the second, yet the Girls failed to bring her home. The girls were left discouraged and with no motivation as they went down 1-2-3 in the seventh inning. Andover drove to GDA with less-than-usual confidence, unsure and unfocused for the game. Although the team struggled to pump up the intensity, the Big Blue managed to score the first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning. However, the top of the fourth inning brought bad news for the Blue as the team collectively made four physical errors and numerous mental errors. Players rushed their throws, didn’t think about where to make the smartest plays, and failed to execute properly. “I know we have the capability to be better,” declared Prosper. “I find it so aggravating when we know the routine plays and we know what we should be doing, but we don’t. Obviously, we are human, and everyone makes mistakes. This game just had quite a lot of mistakes all in one inning.” Nevertheless, the girls did not let that inning stop them from holding their heads high. Striking out nine times as a team, Andover struggled to hit off of GDA’s pitcher, although Lindsay Maroney ’07 hit a triple, and both Tetreau and Megan Winn ’05 contributed doubles of their own. Both teams scored another run in the subsequent innings, finalizing a 4-2 score. “So we had a bad game. It happens. I was extremely impressed with how positive everyone stayed. Errors were made, strikes were called, but no one on the team let these problems consume the rest of the game,” noted Captain Dorothy Voorhees ’04. “If you take away that inning, the game would have been tied in the seventh. This week is a prime example of what I have been saying all year long. When we’re mentally unfocused, everything falls apart. But if we get into the game, we’re unbeatable.”