Young Talent Steps Up to Defeat Deerfield

In front of an eager fan base on Grandparents Day, Andover Softball pummeled Deerfield Academy in a 15-0 mercy rule on Saturday.

Several first-year players stepped up to make large contributions to the win. Ravenne Nasser ’15 pitched four innings, striking out eight and letting up one hit. Jen Kaplan ’15 completed Nasser’s superb start with a shutout inning of her own, striking out two in the progress.

Kayla Thompson ’15 scored four runs on two hits, and Mackenzie Bradford ’15 added two RBIs of her own. Andover hit nearly .500 as a whole.

After being out due to a knee injury, Caitlin Clancy ’13 returned to the batting order in spectacular form, getting hits in all three of her plate appearances.

“Until last weekend, I was only cleared to play in the field at first. I was nervous about running and sliding with my knee, but once I was back in the batter’s box, I was very comfortable.” said Clancy.

The previous Saturday, Andover also cruised to a win over Worcester Academy and defeated its opponent 15-5.

“We jumped on Worcester’s pitcher early and didn’t let up. Everyone was hitting, which is exactly what we’ve been waiting for,” said Abby Chung ’13.

From the onset, the game was in Andover’s favor, with the team holding a 13 run lead by the third inning. Undeterred by the monstrous deficit, Worcester began to rally back, manufacturing five runs through a series of singles, walks, and stolen bases. But Andover regained focus in the fourth, putting up two runs for a ten-run advantage and the activation of the mercy rule.

Leading the offense in the win for Andover was Captain Kayla Maloney ’13, who went 4-4 at the plate and knocked in three runs. Additionally, Nikki Pelletier ’13 and Chung added two RBIs apiece with two and three hits, respectively.

“We came out strong offensively and capitalized on [Worcester’s] weak pitching. It was a slow game, and we started to lose focus toward the end but had built a comfortable enough lead to keep them from coming close,” said Kristin Mendez ’13.

On Tuesday, Andover played Concord-Carlisle High School in a scrimmage. Andover held up well against the top-ranked team, finishing the game with a 2-2 tie in eight innings. One of the prominent moments of the game came in the fourth inning, when Mendez manufactured in a run by getting on base and stealing second, third and home.

Unfortunately, Andover was shut out in games against Exeter and BB&N two weeks ago, falling to Exeter 1-0 and BB&N 2-0.

Andover will look to use its momentum from the Deerfield and Worcester games to step up and defend its title in The Big East Tournament, which begins on Saturday.