Andover Takes Second in Tourney; Moone ’10 Strikes Out 54

Andover Softball had a superb performance in the Big East Invitational Tournament, coming in second place to Tabor. Tristin Moone ’10 was once again the story of the week, pitching in all four games and striking out 52 batters in total and hitting two home runs over the course of the weekend. Andover easily won both games on Saturday, beating Worcester Academy 10-0 and BB&N 14-0 to advance to winner’s bracket on Sunday. Against Worcester Academy, 20 out of 21 of the opposition’s outs were strikeouts by Moone. Co-Captain Sarah Onorato ’11 broke the game open in the third inning with a three-run home run to put Andover on top, 5-0. On Sunday, Andover played Tabor. A win would secure the team a spot in the championship game. Andover raced out to an early lead against Tabor, as Abby Chung ’13 hit a leadoff single and Onorato and Moone hit back-to-back home runs to make the score 3-0. After the first inning, Andover just chipped away more runs, eventually finalizing the score at 7-1. “Tristin pitched an absolute masterpiece. She only allowed singles in the fourth and fifth innings, and an unearned run in the sixth,” said Coach Peter Drench. Andover got the bye into the finals while Tabor had to play Nobles right away, and Tabor’s win gave it a second chance against Andover. The Andover offense was not as explosive as it had been previously in the tournament, stranding nine base runners in the championship game. With the bases loaded in the top of the first, Andover was not able to come through with any runs. In the sixth inning, Andover left two runners on base, ending a possible rally with two infield pop-ups. “Unfortunately, our bats cooled down a bit in the championship game,” said Co-Captain Alayna Garbarino ’10. “We also got unlucky and had multiple extremely hard hit balls go right at players.” Down 1-3 in the bottom of the seventh, the Andover offense finally came through in the clutch. Chung led off with a single, and Moone hit a sky-high fly ball to left that put runners on second and third. Garbarino hit a rocket groundball to shortstop, but a hurried throw led to Garbarino reaching first and tying the game, sending it into extras. In the top of the eighth, Tabor’s shortstop hit a first pitch two-run home run to make the score 5-3, and Andover wasn’t able to come back. Tabor’s offense came through in the clutch in the final game, but Moone did a fantastic job of shutting down hitters all weekend. She pitched 26 innings, struck out 54, and only allowed six runs, three earned, 11 hits and two walks. She threw 359 pitches, 263 for strikes. “I’m proud that our team, having played far fewer games than the other teams, made it to the last inning of the finals as the sixth seed, but disappointed for them that we couldn’t take advantage of what we’d earned by playing three games so well by winning in the end,” said Drench. Andover’s final game is home against Exeter on Saturday. The team will play a doubleheader against its rival to close out the season.