Kayla Maloney ‘13 silenced Lowell’s bats, pitching a no-hitter and clocking fourteen strikeouts last Saturday.
Maloney’s standout performance combined with Co-Captain Shannon McSweeney’s ’11 suicide squeeze and a double from Co-Captain Sarah Onorato ’11 propelled Andover to their 3-0 win.
With Andover holding onto a tight 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning and a runner on third, McSweeney took the plate and laid down a trickle bunt down the first base line, scoring Kristin Mendez ’13 and putting Andover up 2-0.
Despite the win, Andover suffered a devastating blow to their lineup. Ashleigh Vargas ‘11 dove for a foul ball hit towards third base during the second inning. Missing the ball, she landed incorrectly and injured her elbow in the play, which took her out of the game.
Onorato said, “Ash is a really big loss for us because she’s a great player and we hope she’ll be back soon.”
“Having lost Ashleigh, we all had to adjust and Ann Doherty ’11 took the position at third, stepping up to the challenge,” added McSweeney.
Although victorious in their second game, the team had a rough start to back-to-back games with a 5-1 loss in the first game when they faced Andover High. PA was forced to constantly adjust to a new pitchers as Andover High regularly switched their hurlers.
However, the game still proved to be vital as it allowed everyone a chance to get in the game to test out their positions, including returning pitcher Abby Chung ’13 and newcomer Laura Ipolito ’14 who both made their pitching debuts. Chung ’13 pitched the first three innings only giving up two earned runs while Ipolito finished the final four innings and gave up three runs.
Mendez said, “The first game was really helpful because we got to try people out in new positions, which helped us mesh as a team on the field.”
Maloney said, “Our rough start in the first game motivated us to step up in the second game and play together as a team. We also did a good job of getting ourselves out of big innings, which really helped our win.”
Having adjusted to their positions and melded more as a team, Andover looks forward to competing against Nobles this Friday.