In the home half of the sixth inning, Co-Captain Sarah Onorato ’11 jacked a solo home run out of the park; Governor’s outfielders were stunned as they watched the ball sail through right field before landing in the woods beyond the fence.
With Onorato’s highlight home run and newcomer Kayla Maloney’s ’13 zero earned runs and ten strikeouts, the Girls Varsity Softball team captured the first game against Governors in a 3-1 victory.
After a shaky first inning, Ashleigh Vargas ’11 reached first when she was hit by a pitch. Caitlin Clancy ’13 hit an RBI double to the fence, scoring Vargas and tying the game 1-1 in the bottom of the second.
Onorato’s solo shot to lead off the bottom of the sixth gave Andover the 2-1 advantage. Later that inning, Vargas reached base again and was then driven in on a sharp hit ball by Kristin Mendez ’13 down the third base line. Vargas scored two runs for Andover in the game.
Onorato said, “After getting down in the count 0-2, I was glad just to be able to battle back to a full count and make the at bat a tough one for their pitcher. The home run and the lead were just a bonus.”
Governor’s challenged Andover defensively all game, especially in the top of the third inning The first batter hit the ball right back at Maloney, who bobbled the ball but whipped it to first base just in time for Katie Benvenuti ’12 to stomp on the bag.
The next batter who stepped up to plate sent the ball to second base, but Clancy was in position for the catch. The crowd held their breath as they followed a sharply hit ball off the bat of Governor’s number three batter. Mendez sprinted to her left and made a nice catch on the line drive for out number three as it curved towards the foul line.
Mendez said, “It was hard to follow the ball because it was curving a lot, but it’s always fun to catch a line-drive on the run.”
Maloney also settled down after the tumultuous first inning. She came back strong and struck out the side in order in the second and accumulated a total of ten strikeouts on the afternoon.
Coach Drench said, “Both teams played well on typically cold opening day. We were rusty, but several veterans made key plays and everybody relaxed. Kayla [Maloney] pitched very well, Sarah [Onorato] homered to put us ahead, Ashleigh [Vargas] contributed in small, but significant ways, and Caitlin [Clancy] and Kristin [Mendez] delivered important hits.”
Coming off of a victorious opening game, Andover will host Andover High and Lowell in a double header scrimmage this Saturday.