Over Spring Vacation, Andover Softball traveled to Orlando, Fla. to prepare for its upcoming season by attending multiple practices and playing a total of eight games. The team worked diligently to ensure that it will be ready for the first pitch of the season.
With a combination of all grades and many impactful newcomers as well as a good amount of returners, the trip acted as a crucial opportunity for players to develop a new team dynamic. In Florida, the team focused on its skills at bat and in the field, but also worked on strengthening team chemistry both on and off the field. Andover also worked on basic concepts, such as ground balls, fly balls, and throwing to improve its defensive game in the field.
Captain Kristina Haghdan ’17 said, “In Florida, we worked on fielding and team chemistry. The focus was just to get our nervous out and brush off the dust on our skills that may have formed during the off-season.”
Newcomer Rachel Moore ’19 added, “Since it was our first time playing together as a whole we mostly worked on communication and getting back into the feel of playing outside again. The main focus was on fundamentals and mechanics to improve our overall game.”
The long hours of play and practice paid off, as many team members saw improvements being made as the group grew closer and improved on many of its skills throughout the week.
Moore said, “We improved our knowledge of the game and decision making as most players were starting in new positions. We need to work on routine plays such as ground balls, fly balls, and throws, which will come as we get back into a schedule of practicing every day.”
Kaitlin Ervin ’20 added, “I think we bonded as a team, especially our cheering and communication, which will make the season a lot more fun and will help our playing throughout the season.”
The trip also served as an opportunity to identify areas that still need work during practice in order to have a successful season.
Moore said, “Spring training definitely provided a good way to reintroduce the season. I think that it was a great start and helped point out areas where we were successful and areas we need work on. But the time and effort we put in each day at practice will be the true source of our readiness for the season.”
Haghdan added, “I think the mentality we were able to build more so than the training is what is going to impact the season. Since this trip was over break we didn’t have to be worried about anything else other than playing and hanging out with the team. So we were able to build some pretty strong relationships and a great atmosphere that we can carry into the season.”
The team hopes to build off of its momentum and carry it into the season, in the hopes of defending its title as Big East Champions.