Three-Run Blast By Gardner ’10 Propels Andover Past Exeter

With the game tied at five in the top of the fourth inning, Riley Gardner ’10 stepped to the plate with runners on first and second against Exeter’s star pitcher. With a full count, she hit a three-run blast over the fence in left-center field to give Andover the lead as the Andover crowd went wild. The team would eventually win the game 12-5, pairing up nicely with a 12-9 victory in the second game of the doubleheader. Earlier in the week, Andover made the short trip to Brooks and lost 4-3. Facing Britt Hart, one of the premier prep school pitchers in the area, Andover came out determined to get to her early. Shannon McSweeney ’11 worked a walk in her first plate appearance of the day. Sarah Onorato ’11 then drove her in with a triple to put the team up 1-0. Brooks got out of the inning without any further damage, but Andover scored again when Captain Sarah Boylan ’09 drove in McSweeney for the team’s second run in the third inning. Caroline Gattuso ’09 kept Brooks off the scoreboard for the first three innings, but surrendered two in the fourth and one in the fifth as Brooks took a 3-2 lead. Andover added a third run in the sixth inning, tying the game. But Brooks scored a run in the bottom of the seventh for the walk-off victory. On Saturday, Andover faced Exeter in what is always a tight battle, no matter what the team’s records are coming into the game. This year, Andover came in with the upper hand at 13-4 while Exeter came into the day with a 3-10 record, but both games were close to the finish as Andover swept the doubleheader. In the first game, Jackie Higgins ’12 started in place of the injured Gattuso. Despite the lack of help from her defense, she only allowed four Exeter singles as the opposition tallied five runs in her seven innings of work. On the offensive side, Andover came out firing on all cylinders by scoring five runs in the first frame. Onorato got the offense started with a double to drive McSweeney home. After Exeter came roaring back in the second and third innings to tie the game at five, Gardner hit a bomb to break the tie in the fourth. She said, “It felt amazing to be able to come through for the team when we needed it.” Sarah Boylan followed with a three run double to pad Andover’s lead. The team would eventually win 12-5 after Higgins retired 12 out of the last 13 batters. In game two, Andover once again took an early lead with a seven run first inning. Exeter didn’t go down easy though, as it tied the game at seven by the third inning. Mackenzie Skwierczynski ‘12 made her first varsity start on the mound and did the best she could to limit the damage after several errors by the Andover defense. She went the first three innings and Higgins relieved her in the last 4 innings. After Exeter took a 9-7 lead in the fourth, Andover reclaimed the lead after Boylan and Gardner combined to knock in three runs. Andover would go on to win the game 12-9. Andover ended its season with a solid 15-4 record.