Andover Sweeps Doubleheader; Gardner ’10, Moone ’10 Homer

Andover softball steamrolled Exeter on Saturday, as the team won both games of the doubleheader by a 10-run mercy rule after five innings of play. “We went into the games knowing that Exeter was not the best competition we had faced all season. However, it was still Andover-Exeter, and you have to respect your opponents – if a team is going to have the best game of their season, there’s a good chance it will be against their rivals,” said Shannon McSweeney ’11. Tristin Moone ’10 ended her Andover career with an bang, pitching in the first game and facing only 14 batters in five innings. Only one Exeter batter reached base after being hit by a pitch, but was soon thrown out at second on a laser by Co-Captain Sarah Onorato ’11. Moone struck out 9 and walked none. In the beginning of the first game, Andover had a hard time getting on base to break the game open. The team lined out five times to Exeter fielders, hitting the ball right at the opposition. The Exeter defense did not waver for the first few innings and Andover’s opponents continued to make clean plays on hard hit balls. “After a few innings under our belt, we were able to get some that fell in and once we got the pressure on them, we kept it there,” said McSweeney. Once Andover started scoring, it never stopped. Riley Gardner ’10 bid farewell softball at Andover by blasting a three-run home run, and Moone complemented her miraculous pitching with a solo shot of her own. Andover drove in its tenth and eleventh runs in the fifth inning, securing the win by mercy. In the second game, pitcher Abby Chung ’13 faced Exeter in her third start of the season. Exeter immediately got its only run in the top of the first after an RBI base hit. Andover scored three runs in the bottom of the inning to quickly regain a 3-1 advantage. Andover continued to build upon its lead, while Exeter could not squeeze in any more runs thanks to consistent pitching from Chung and a reliable defense behind her. Chung struck out three, walked one, and allowed five hits. Co-Captain Alayna Garbarino ’10 reached base all four times in her final game at Andover, with two hits and three RBIs. She and other seniors Gardner, Caroline Kaufman ’10, Moone, and School Year Abroad-bound Sonya Schoenberger ’11 combined to go 8 for 19 in their final Andover-Exeter day with nine RBIs. Katie Benvenuti ’12 also had a very good game, driving in two runs. Again, Andover scored its eleventh run in the fifth to make the score 11-1 and end the game. “Both of our pitchers had great games, but everyone contributed in the field,” said McSweeney. “Everyone made great contact at the plate and our patience improved very much throughout the game. Everyone was hitting the ball extremely well and it was the perfect finish to our season.” Andover concluded its season with a 10-3 record and a second place finish in the Big East Invitational Tournament.