Seeded fifth in the annual Big East Tournament, Andover Softball defied all odds when it defeated all of its opponents and claimed the championship for the second year in a row.
Pitcher and Captain Kayla Maloney ’13 and catcher Nikki Pelletier ’13 dominated as the starting battery, each earning tournament All-Star titles. Maloney earned the tournament’s Outstanding Player Award, pitching in 27 of Andover’s 38 innings in the tournament.
Andover began the tournament on Saturday by easily defeating Nobles to earn a spot in the winner’s bracket.
Later on Saturday afternoon, Andover faced top-seeded Tabor, eager to garner revenge for a loss earlier in the season.
“Although we won by a decent margin, each inning was packed with extremely close calls and close plays. It seemed as though Tabor always got its leadoff batter on somehow, and they certainly know how to play small-ball. Each inning, we dug it out. In the bottom of an inning late in the game, we only had one out with bases loaded, but we did not let up,” said first baseman Caitlin Clancy ’13.
On Sunday morning, Andover faced off against the second-seeded BB&N and won 5-0. Maloney, Kasey Hartung ’14, Laura Ippolito ’14 and Clancy were top contributors at the plate.
Working off its success in the past three games, Andover led off its championship game against Tabor with a four-run outburst in the third inning. Kayla Thompson ’15 doubled and Kristin Mendez ’13 singled, putting runners on first and third with no outs.
Maloney then doubled, Abby Chung ’13 reached on an error, and Clancy concluded the rally with a single of her own. Led by Mendez, who knocked in a majority of the team’s RBIs throughout the game, Andover continued its rallies in later innings to win 11-2.
This is the second time in a row that Andover has captured the championship trophy. Andover is the first team in Big East Tournament history to repeat as tournament winners.
On Wednesday, Andover continued its dominance, easily defeating Brooks 8-2 thanks to a superb complete-game performance from freshman pitcher Ravenne Nasser ’15.
Andover will look to complete its exciting season on Saturday with a win against Exeter.