Striking out 11 players and only giving up four hits, Co-Captain and pitcher Kristina Haghdan ’17 led Andover Softball to a 12-4 victory over Concord-Carlisle High School on Saturday.
Andover started its season strong by emerging victorious in all three of its games this week. Along with the Saturday win against Concord-Carlisle, the team triumphed over Tilton 14-4 on Friday and beat Nobles 5-0 on Wednesday. The team now holds a record of 3-0.
Against Concord-Carlisle, Andover had a sluggish start, and the score remained deadlocked at 0-0 throughout the first three innings. However, the team’s offense exploded during the fourth and piled in ten runs.
Sarah Carmichael ’18 said, “We were really stuck offensively in the first couple innings. We weren’t putting the ball into play, but we had one inning where we were just really strong. [Co-Captain Victoria Bergeron ’16], who is our lead-off batter, started us off with a really strong hit, and that inning we scored ten runs. So, I definitely think we are a team where once we get our momentum we can just keep going and really capitalize on the other team’s mistakes and errors.”
Andover’s offense thrived when the players fed off of each other’s successful batting.
Bergeron said, “It wasn’t until the fourth inning when we put runs on the board. At the huddle before we went up to bat, Kristina and I were like ‘Okay, this is the inning.’ So we said ‘bust ‘em up,’ and then we really did.”
“We opened up the game for ourselves and pulled ahead by quite a lot, just by one person getting on base, and then just building off each other,” Bergeron added.
The team’s dynamic offense, coupled with its lockdown defense, proved too much for Concord-Carlisle to handle and propelled Andover to its 12-4 win. This potent combination was also crucial in Andover’s 14-4 victory over Tilton the day before.
Carmichael said, “We dominated offensively, and I definitely think our pitching was really strong during Friday’s game. The other team had a hard time putting the ball into play.”
A strong start in the first inning provided Andover with momentum that carried it throughout the rest of the game.
Haghdan said, “Hitting was definitely a major part of our win on Friday. We were able to start the first inning strong. Knowing that we had the ability to score first and get ahead really fueled us to keep going. [We] kind of exploded after [that], and continued to rally up some runs.”
Bergeron said, “In Tilton we came out with a strong start, which gave us confidence. Our defense was really sound so it was really our offense that took over. Our defense kept us in the game, but our offense I think is ultimately what really made us stand out that game.”
To cap off its week, Andover managed to shut out a skilled Nobles team 5-0. Haghdan played another strong game, racking up 14 strikeouts.
Catcher Madi Bradford ’17 said, “Kristina hit her spots, which made it hard for Nobles to make contact, and when they did it resulted in easy outs for the infielders.”
Bergeron said, “On Wednesday, we played great defense behind Kristina, but she led the way with great pitching and really shut out Nobles in a big way. Offensively, we had a little bit of trouble gaining momentum and stringing hits together, but we did get one run in the bottom of the first inning, and we were able to put some hits together when we needed to score more.”
Andover will take on Governor’s Academy on Friday afternoon.
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