Since joining Andover Softball as a new Lower last season, Kristina Haghdan ’17 has been a force to be reckoned with on the mound. Haghdan’s aptitude for the sport and her strong work ethic have contributed to the team’s chemistry and success. Following her first season in an Andover uniform, she was elected Co-Captain by her teammates for her leadership and skill.
Colby Bere ’18 said, “Kristina is the kind of leader that leads by example. She is one of our more experienced players on the team and she definitely uses her knowledge to help the more inexperienced players on the team.”
“One of my favorite parts of being teammates with Kristina is that she always keeps the spirit up. If anyone gets out or doesn’t make a play, she will make sure that they flush the mistake to be ready the next time. Along with that, when someone gets a hit or makes a play in the field, whether she is pitching or not, Kristina will always cheer for them,” continued Bere.
Newcomer Jess Blumenthal ’19 said, “Since I am one of the youngest and more inexperienced players on the team, Kristina never hesitates to catch me up on the plays and help improve my technique. She’s a really talented player and I love being able to learn from her.”
Haghdan’s talent and focused mindset make her an important asset for the team.
Antonia Tammaro ’17 said, “She is always ready and eager to play and has so much passion for the game. She carries us on her back with her pitching and rarely gives up hits.”
Haghdan said, “I believe that my strength as a pitcher is my competitive approach towards the game. Pitching is a really intimate position on the field, since it’s only me against the batter, and I refuse to be beaten. If they do ultimately get a good hit I make sure that they don’t get the same opportunity during their next at bat.”
Head Coach Peter Drench said, “Kristina’s greatest strengths as a pitcher are her athletic ability, intelligence and poise. She is a complete ballplayer: a skilled outfielder, a smart baserunner, a hitter possessing great bat control. Although she plays the most important position in softball, Kristina is a ‘team player,’ not a prima donna.”
Haghdan’s passion for softball began at a young age, when her parents suggested that she try out the sport.
Haghdan said, “When I was younger, I was actually an avid gymnast, but my parents got sick of lugging my sister and I to different practices all the time because she is also a softball player. So, one day they handed me a glove and told me to go play with her and her team.”
Haghdan hopes to continue to be a role model for all of her teammates.
Haghdan said,” I hope to set an example of patience. Softball is a sport that is heavily reliant on mechanics, and mechanics are extremely hard to master. I hope that as a Co-Captain, my teammates will feel my support and understand that it is okay to fail, because the process of improvement takes a ton of time.”