Softball Jumps Out to an Early First Inning Five-Run Lead Vs. Exeter; Meg Shea ’07 Blasts a Homerun and Double For Three RBI’s

Megan Shea ’07 slammed her first home run of the season in the bottom of the fifth, sending the ball flying past the left field fence and scoring the only run of the inning. The team played Exeter on its home field this past Wednesday, winning by a score of 12-7. Michelle Hollebeke ’08 started the game well by pitching three consecutive strikeouts. When Andover came to the plate, it scored several runs, as the opposing pitcher struggled to find the strike zone. The first three batters were walked or reached base on a wild pitch. Then Shea and Hollebeke hit slicing shots, and made it home on an infield throwing error. Meghan Hartnett ’07 was next with a line-drive single to right field, bringing in two more runs for her team. Kelci Thomasco ’08 followed her teammates, smashing a sharp grounder single to left field, and Hartnett reached home on a wild throw. When PA returned to the field, it had a comfortable 5-0 lead, relieving Hollebeke of stress on the pitcher’s mound and Kaitlyn McInnis ’09 behind home plate. After striking out one and grounding another, Hollebeke walked the third batter of the inning, but struck out the fourth to finish and put Andover back up to bat. PA only increased its lead in the bottom of the second, as Sarah Boylan ’09 struck a deep single into left field. After Hollebeke walked and Nicole Duddy ’08 was hit by a pitch, the bases were loaded for Emily Cokorinos ’08. Cokorinos hit a sacrifice fly, allowing Boylan to score. When Exeter came back to the plate in the top of the third inning, it started to come together and ended up scoring its first run of the day. Hartnett made a dive for the ball and almost robbed Exeter of the hit, but came up just short and a single run scored. With a final strikeout by Hollebeke, PA went back to the bench with a 6-1 lead. Thomasco hit her second single of the day, eventually scoring on a throwing error from Exeter. In the top of the fourth, Exeter scored again, but was stopped from scoring more than one run by Hollebeke. The fifth inning yielded no runs, but Exeter knocked in a third run in the top of the sixth. Andover came back in the bottom of the sixth, with Johnson earning a walk and Veda Eswarappa ’08 hitting a double. Johnson scored on the double to strength Andover’s lead. Maroney followed this run with a sharp grounder to left field and reached second base. Shea then shot a double and allowed Eswarappa and Maroney to score. Boylan smashed a ball to the left field fence, narrowly missing a home run, and instead earning a double. Shea scored to bring Andover to a 12-3 lead as it headed to the seventh inning. Exeter fought through the end, scoring four runs in the final inning. Andover managed to hold the lead though, and finished with a well-deserved 12-7 win. The next game will be held at Worchester on Saturday. The team will also play BB&N the following Wednesday on their home turf.