North Andover Scarlet Knights Softball '18

Thu, Jun 07, 2018 04:00 PM @ North Andover
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Final
Billerica 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
North Andover 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 4

North Andover softball earns first tourney win since 2007

  • Currently 0.0 with 0 votes.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thursday, June, 07 By David Willis
Staff writer

NORTH ANDOVER — For so many years, Morgan Reitano dreamed of bringing North Andover softball a state tournament victory.
On Thursday, she helped snap a 10-year skid.
“We have been working so hard for this,” she said. “We haven’t been to states in so many years, and it’s been even longer since we had a win. I am so grateful to be a part of this!”
Reitano’s two-run single was a key strike as No. 10 North Andover beat No. 23 Billerica 4-1 in the Division 1 North first round.
The victory was the first postseason win for North Andover softball since the 2007 season. It is the Scarlet Knights’ first postseason appearance since 2013.
“It’s really exciting after all these years to do it,” said pitcher Samantha Ahlholm. “We were confident, but we knew Billerica was a strong team. We played a really good game, and it should be a lot of fun to play on Saturday,”
The Scarlet Knights (16-5) will next travel to face No. 7 Newton North (15-4) on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
“This is awesome,” said Knights head coach Caitlin Flanagan, now in her sixth season. “This was the first tourney game for all of these kids, and it was important for them to not just make the playoffs but earn a win. We got a little rattled at first, but we settled down. We are very excited for Saturday. Newton North is a good team, but so are we.”
Leading the Knights on Thursday was a brilliant performance by Ahlholm.
The junior threw a complete-game two-hitter. She did not allow an earned run, struck out two, and only three times allowed balls out of the infield. 
“She was amazing as always,” said Reitano. “Everything was working for her. She stayed calm, cool and collected the whole game. She’s the best.”
Ahlholm allowed a bloop single in the second, and a single in the seventh that was quickly erased by a double play. The lone run came home on a throwing error.
“My screwball was really what was working for me,” said Ahlholm. “It was starting in the middle part of the plate and then breaking to the inside. I was also locating my fastballs. I was really feeling good in the second half of the game. I’m really excited.”
Devin McElhiney gave North Andover the lead with an RBI single in the first. 
After Billerica tied it up, the Scarlet Knights opened up the game in the third.
Alyssa Roderick led off the inning with a massive shot off the wall, and scored on a single by Olivia Rondeau. 
Carley Howe followed with a single, and Reitano drove two runs home with a line shot down the left field line.
“I thought our offense made a big difference,” said Flanagan. “We hit like we can. We became more aggressive, and less defensive. If we saw a pitch on the inside, we went after it.”
That was enough offense for Ahlholm. She allowed the one single in the seventh, but McElhiney quickly erased it by grabbing a line shot to first, then stepping on the bag for the game-ending double play.
“That was such a nice play,” said Ahlholm. “It was great to end the game on the best play of the game. It should be so much fun to play in the next round. It will be interesting to take on a team we have never played before.”

Back on top
North Andover softball’s win on Thursday was the first tourney victory for the program since 2007.
The Scarlet Knights’ last postseason win came in the 2007 Division 2 state semifinals, when they beat Coyle-Cassidy 3-1. The Knights then lost the Division 2 title game 2-1 to Hudson. The game was controversial, as it was halted after four innings due to thunder, and completed the following day. The Knights led 1-0 when it was stopped.

Game Statistics:

Billerica (1): Jacquelynn Schwalm 1b 3-0-0, Abigail Iozzo 2b 2-1-0, Isabella Tassone ss 3-0-0, Kendra Duggan lf 3-0-0, Jacquelynn Holden p 1-0-0, Lindsay Mitchell p 1-0-0, Katelyn Condon ph 1-0-1, Cassidy Peters 3-0-1, Katherine Iozzo c 2-0-0, Rachel Fitzgerald 3b 2-0-0, Molly Stanton cf 2-0-0. Totals 23-1-2

North Andover (4): Haley Grove rf 4-0-1, Alyssa Roderick 3b 3-2-2, Olivia Rondeau 2b 2-1-2, Carley Howe ss 3-1-2, Morgan Reitano dh 3-0-1, Devin McElhiney 1b 3-0-1, Talia Brown lf 3-0-0, Samantha Ahlholm p 3-0-0, Allison Sgrosso cf 3-0-1, Sophie Mitchell c 0-0-0. Totals 27-4-10

RBI: Reitano 2, McElhiney, Rondeau

WP: Ahlholm; LP: Holden

0 Story Comments