Co-Captain Kayla Maloney ’13 continued her dominance on the mound last Saturday by shutting out Cushing Academy 8-0 as Andover cruised to its fourth win of the season.
Maloney let up only two infield hits in a 14 strikeout performance for Andover.
“[Maloney is] a very special player, a leader whose actions speak eloquently,” said Coach Peter Drench.
Along with its lights-out defense, Andover’s offense shone against Cushing. Maloney collected five RBIs, including a three-run home run. Mackenzie Skwierczynski ’12 tallied two RBIs of her own, and Laura Ippolito ’14 knocked in one.
The team especially utilized a small ball approach against Cushing and capitalized on trick bunts, particularly a fake-bunt-hit from Kristin Mendez ’13 for the first hit of the game.
Despite a successful first game, Andover surrendered its six-game winning streak when it fell 4-6 later in the day to Tabor.
“Against Tabor our mistakes were, as they always are, costly in a tightly played softball game between two good teams,” said Drench.
For the majority of the game, the game was a pitchers’ duel. Through six innings, Ravenne Nasser ’15 allowed only one run on two hits and Tabor’s pitcher blanked the Andover batting squad.
Things began to unravel in the seventh inning after Nasser gave up to back-to-back singles and a walk, which left the bases loaded with no outs. A wild pitch, passed ball, and a single later, Tabor had erupted with five runs with only one out and a runner on first.
Andover then made a pitching change, bringing in Maloney in relief. After a passed ball, Maloney worked out of the jam and got two quick outs to end the damage.
Down 6-0 in the bottom of the seventh, Andover looked to rally back.
Maloney led off the inning with a long home run, followed by a three-run home run from Kayla Thompson ’15 that brought Andover within two of Tabor.
Despite Andover’s efforts in the final at-bats, the team succumbed after hard fought at-bats by Nikki Pelletier ’13 and Co-Captain Abby Chung ’13.
“The hole we dug was just too deep. I know that we hope to learn from this experience and put it to good use,” said Drench.
Looking forward to its upcoming games, Andover hopes to fire up its bats once again, after mustering hits from only five of the team’s 14 players against Tabor.
“We hope to have the whole lineup hitting as we did earlier in the season and hopefully getting some at-bats for those who have thus far been unable to hit,” said Caitlin Clancy ’13.
Andover will face off against Worcester Academy tomorrow.