Two Scrimmages Prepare Andover for Upcoming Season

Despite not having any official regular season games this week, the Andover Softball Team still took part in live action play with a three-way scrimmage at home with Andover High School and Lowell High School. In the first game of the day, the team easily defeated Andover High. Jackie Higgins ’12 made her varsity debut with a stellar performance. Battery-mate Sarah Onorato ’11 said, “I thought she did a great job in her first varsity appearance.” Onorato was Andover’s star at the plate, going two for three with a home run to lead the home team’s offense. In game two, Andover lost to Lowell by a score of 4-3. Caroline Gattuso ’09 took the mound for the home team and pitched consistently well despite the loss. “Although we made some defensive mistakes, Caroline never lost her composure and made several great pitches,” said Coach Peter Drench. Mackenzie Skwierczynski ’12 pitched the sixth inning to close out the game. Although the games were scrimmages, they didn’t stop Andover from making some great defensive plays. Captain Sarah Boylan ’09 relayed a cutoff throw from Shannon McSweeney ’11 to catcher Onorato. Onorato in turn tagged out a Lowell runner at the plate in an organized display of team work. After an impressive running catch, Boylan combined with Onorato to tag out a Lowell runner trying to steal second base. The scrimmages allowed both new and seasoned Andover players the opportunity to play in live action, which was much needed considering the team has only practiced outside a few times. The scrimmages also allowed Drench to pick up on weaknesses that the team can improve on. “We need to develop consistency in our play,” he said. Drench continued, “We also still need to go over our first and third defensive packages and settle on a batting order.” But overall, Drench said he was pleased with the team’s performance. “Our players worked hard and felt like a real team, even this early in the season. They’ve had a positive attitude, and we were able to make the most of both of our scrimmages,” he said. Gardner ’10 said, “This season is a fresh start for us as a team since we graduated a lot of Seniors last year. These scrimmages helped us create a new team dynamic, and they gave us a good assessment of what we need to work on.” Andover looks to build on its early season momentum at tomorrow’s home game against Nobles.