Sports

High Hopes for Defending Big East Tournament Champions

The defending champion of the Big East Tournament, Andover Softball hopes to maximize its depth to succeed again in the 2012 season.

Andover will look to Co-Captains Kayla Maloney ’13 and Abby Chung ’13, along with veterans Kristin Mendez ’13 and Nikki Pelletier ’13, to carry last year’s momentum into the upcoming season.

Maloney and Chung were a vital part to last season’s success, with Maloney pitching a no-hitter and hitting five home runs in the Big East Tournament and Chung playing a variety of different positions, from pitcher to centerfield.

“Each day at practice [our captains] amaze me with their seemingly effortless skill and precision. They definitely lead by example each day and are great teammates to work with,” said returner Caitlin Clancy ’13.

Before beginning preparation for its first game, the team will work on finalizing the roster and getting into the feel of the season.

“At this point in the season, we’re easing into practice as we toggle with the roster. We have a lot of gaps to fill, especially in the infield, so everyone’s been practicing all over the field to give us more versatility,” said Mendez.

The growing depth on the team gives Andover confidence as it moves forward into its season.

“If the weather cooperates, I’m confident that we’ll be a competitive, entertaining team worth watching. I hope that students will come out to catch some rays while cheering on the team,” said Coach Peter Drench.

Drench is entering his 25th year of coaching softball at Phillips Academy and was crowned last year’s Eagle Tribune Coach of the Year.

Andover will begin its season with a double-header scrimmage against Lowell and Andover High on Saturday, April 7.