Softball Bounces Back from Loss Against GDA with 2 Wins; Consistent Play is Key to Success for the Big Blue

Stephanie Clegg ’08 threw off her catcher’s mask and dove aggressively toward a foul ball, catching it with full extension last Saturday, in Varsity Softball’s first game of a double header against Lowell and Nobles. It was one of many heroic plays that earned the team’s two consecutive wins, bouncing back from a tough lost against Governor Dummer the Thursday before. First basemen Emily Cokorinos ’08 noted of the successful day, “It’s great to see the team really coming together. There was a huge difference from how we played on Saturday against Lowell relative to our last few scrimmages. Though we still have a ways to go, I know we have a lot of potential because of all the talk on the field and the fact that we are always smiling.” Andover endured a long and tough game against a talented Lowell team. Pitcher Claire Fox ’06 was back in great form, throwing nine strikeouts and giving up only one hit the entire game. The game was a pitcher’s dual, extending into extra innings as Fox showed her incredible stamina, pitching eight straight innings. As the game progressed, it was clear the nail-biter could go either way. Seven errorless innings went by at 0-0 until an international tiebreaker was announced. In the event of a tiebreaker, the last person called out starts off the inning as a base runner on second. The Lowell offense failed to score a runner, so Andover stepped up to the plate for its turn. Sara Ho ’08 started off the inning at second base and quickly ran to third as Nicole Duddy ’08 sacrifice-bunted to advance the runner. As the inning progressed, Andover had two outs and the pressure was intense. Captain Melissa Tetreau ’06 stepped up to the plate and slammed a line drive through a hole in Lowell’s defense to drive in Ho and win the game. The second game of the day saw Andover smoking Nobles and Greenough 5-1. Sarah Boylan ’09 pitched for the first time at Andover, and put on a consistent show with nine strikeouts. Mid-game, shortstop Lindsey Maroney ’07 made a fantastic play, leaping to catch a hard-hit ball destined for left field. Andover’s offense executed particularly well this game, as the team came away with six hits, accounting for the total five runs of the game. Veda Eswarappa ’08 pitched an admirable six innings against a tough GDA team, throwing two strikeouts and giving up only 4 hits. Despite the unfavorable score, Eswarappa executed well, leaving 11 GDA runners on base without scoring. Andover played its fourth game of the season away at Lawrence Academy, and suffered a tough 3-0 loss against a talented opponent. The team suffered through a difficult first inning, unable to stop Lawrence from scoring two runs on a ball hit hard to left field. Offensively, Andover was struggling, and Duddy smacked the first and only hit of the game in the sixth inning. In general, the team failed to be selective with the opponent’s pitching and failed to get the ball in play. Said Duddy, “We had a couple of innings where the Lawrence pitcher only threw four pitches, but with strong encouragement… we saw more hits.” On the defensive side, pitcher Fox had a rough day, struggling to hit the strike zone. Even so, Andover was executing, and first basemen Cokorinos made countless plays, stretching to get the batters out. Boylan also made a great running catch in right field. The team was pleased with the performance on the week.