Pitching Powers Andover to Doubleheader Sweep

When Postgraduate Tristin Moone ’10 took the mound for her first time at Andover Saturday, she struck out the side, eliminating the first three Andover High School batters she faced in order. Moone’s success in the first inning set the tone for both scrimmages on Satruday. Andover handily defeated cross-town rival Andover High in the first half of the twin bill and edged out Lowell High 5-4 in the nightcap. “Success in softball begins with pitching, and Tristin [Moone] and Abby [Chung ’13] both know their fundamentals well and are working on particular phases of their game,” said Peter Drench. “Pitching well depends on good catching, and Sarah Onorato ’11 is used to working with a variety of pitchers,” he continued. These two wins were especially impressive in light of the limited field time the team had prior to Saturday. The team practiced only one day on the infield prior to the scrimmages. “We were trying to keep it simple offensively, because some of our players hadn’t even faced live pitching yet. We were able to score runs by making good contact and taking advantage of a couple of rare miscues,” said Drench Shortstop and lead-off batter Kristin Mendez ’13 said, “Everyone had a really hard time hitting the ball off of Moone, which really helped us out. I think we all worked really well together and showed good team chemistry.” Chung pitched three and one-third innings in the second half of the doubleheader. The rookie kept Lowell quiet early in the game, allowing Andover to get its bats going. Mendez said, “Chung hit her spots really well and kept great mental control on the mound. She and the rest of the pitching staff helped a lot on Saturday.” Drench said that he has been impressed early by this group of players. “Everyone has a positive attitude and always is looking for ways to improve their game,” said Drench. “We have a good group of players with experience that know what to do to get ready to play. We have the makings of a solid infield that will make the routine plays consistently and could turn some tougher plays, too,” he continued. The team is now able to practice on the field, and will work to improve the elements they weren’t able to practice indoors. “Our outfielding corps is still developing; we are force-feeding rookies to gain some depth on our roster. We also have to develop our offensive capabilities. These are all typical issues in the early going and I am confident we will be ready when the season starts,” said Drench. The softball team kicks off its season against Noble High School on Friday at home.