Kayla Maloney ’13 carried Andover Varsity Softball to victory with her no-hitter on Sunday, shutting down a previously unbeaten Nobles team in the championship game for the Big East title. Maloney delivered an outstanding performance, accumulating five home runs, seventeen RBIs and seven scored runs over the five game span of the tournament, earning the honor of the most valuable player of the tournament.
Maloney said, “Winning the championship was a huge accomplishment for the team. We faced a lot of adversity all season, but overcame all of it in this tournament through hard work and stepping up. Every single person played a huge role in all of the wins, and we really came together as a team, which was evident the whole weekend.”
Maloney was voted MVP in the tournament unanimously by the coaches of all the participating teams. In the five games, she threw two no-hitters, rocketed five homeruns–two of which were grand slams, scored seven runs, hit .588 and fielded fifteen chances without committing any errors, an unheard of feat in the tournament.
Due to the illness of Co-Captain Sarah Onorato ’11, Maloney was forced to pitch to backup catcher, Nikki Pelletier ’13, which was a remarkable adjustment for Maloney to make in the midst of competition; however, Pelletier stepped up to the challenge, catching all five games successfully.
Coach Peter Drench said, “with Sarah sidelined, Kayla had to carry a huge offensive load to help make up for the devastating loss of Sarah’s team-leading offensive production. Physically, mentally and emotionally, Kayla’s performance has to be one of the best ever turned in by any PA athlete.”
In the championship against Nobles, Andover took an early lead with two runs in the first when Kristin Mendez ’13 led off with a walk and Caitlin Clancy ’13 smashed two doubles. Maloney and Abby Chung ’13 contributed off the mound offensively, earning RBIs.
With two runs in the third, Nobles tied it up but Mendez responded aggressively at the top of the fourth with a two-run double, putting Andover back in the lead with a score of 4-2. The team carried this momentum forward in the game with an eight run rally in the seventh in which both Ann Doherty ’11 and Maloney hit two-run doubles, ending the game due to the mercy rule.
Over the two day tournament, Andover secured four wins, falling only to Nobles by just one run in their third game before proving themselves against the previously unbeaten team in the championship.
Andover carried their winning streak into the week, shutting down Brooks 12-0 on Wednesday. The entire squad saw action as every player contributed offensively to rack up the twelve runs.
Maloney said, “It was fun to finally have some nice weather to play in, and this game was a good warm up before we play Exeter this weekend.”
After taking first place in the Big East championship tournament, Varsity Softball hopes to close out a successful season victoriously as they face Exeter in a doubleheader on Saturday.