Phillips Academy became a coeducational institution in 1973. Entering the 2014 season, the varsity softball teams have rung up a 411-143 record (.742), including a rain-shortened 13-0 mark and third straight Big East Prep Invitational Tournament championship in 2013. PA has co-hosted this eight-team, double-elimination competition held on the third weekend in May since 2001. On May 24, the recently upgraded softball facility will be rededicated prior to the season-ending doubleheader vs. old rival Phillips Exeter Academy. These highlights reflect PA’s emphasis at both the varsity and JV levels on individual skill development, team building and -- last but not least -- having fun.
Above: Softball Captains Kasey Hartung & Ravenne Nasser
PA has one of the best softball venues at the New England secondary level, consisting of two diamonds at Isham Field. Both have skinned infields, and the main diamond is equipped with a new electronic scoreboard and, thanks to a group of young alumnae who have been raising the necessary funds, Isham Field now has a batting cage/bullpen unit, permanent dugouts and larger bleachers situated behind the home plate backstop, and a new equipment shed is now in use. Friends, family and other spectators enjoy the cozy confines of Isham’s intimate setting while sitting in the stands or catching rays on the grassy bank that runs parallel to the third base line.
We are also proud of the outstanding academic records compiled by our players. It is not uncommon for our players to earn Honor Roll grades during the softball season and our graduates have continued to star in the classroom and on the diamond in collegiate programs. Andover alumnae have gone on to play softball in all three NCAA divisions. The Class of 2013 sent two players headed to Ivy League softball programs, and the Class of 2011 produced two Division I softball players and a pair of Division I athletes competing in field hockey and ice hockey, respectively. Two PA softball alumnae have earned NCAA Division I Rookie of the Year softball honors in their leagues. Several have captained their teams, one leading her team to the NCAA Division I Regionals. Some have become coaches. Others ended their competitive softball careers at Andover but starred in other college sports, such as basketball, crew, field hockey, ice hockey and soccer. One former shortstop's hat trick propelled her team to an NCAA Division I Women’s Ice Hockey championship.
The most exciting stories reflect what graduates have accomplished off the field. They are active professionally in the arts, business, education, engineering, environmental issues, health care, journalism, law, medicine, military, politics, public policy, research and travel, and live all over the world. They have families of their own and typically give back to their communities. Whether they are running water resources projects in Ghana or serving as director of protocol and special events for a U.S. House Speaker, or working on education reform for the Gates Foundation or carrying out reporting assignments while embedded with combat troops in Iraq, running a software company in Australia, performing surgery, overseeing projects for a state office of transportation, helping to lead an inner-city young writers’ program, working part-time while raising children, or raising money for charities by running marathons, softball alumnae are among the many PA graduates who have put their Andover educations and wide range of interests to good use. If this sounds appealing and if you are eager to follow in such illustrious footsteps, we welcome your interest in our softball program.
Coach: Peter Drench
In Festive Atmospher Softball Field Acquires New Name, But Exeter Sweeps Season-Ending Twin Bill, 4-2, 9-1
The Blue dropped both ends of its season-ending
doubleheader to arch-rival Phillips Exeter, 4-2 and 9-1, on a day when the
school’s softball field was named after Coach Peter Drench. The ceremonies were
part of a celebration of four decades of PA coeducation and Title IX. After a
1-4 start this spring, PA had ripped off six straight wins before yielding an
unearned run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lose, 1-0, in the Big East
Tournament semi-finals. This tough loss began a three-game losing streak which
included a scoring drought that stretched to twenty innings, as the Blue closed
out its first losing campaign in eighteen years. Led by its eight seniors, Exeter
surged to a fine 11-7 mark, sweeping a twin bill at Andover’s expense for the
PA Misses No-Hit Bid, Shut Out By Brooks, 3-0
and Brooks were scoreless heading into the top of the seventh inning, when the
visitors from North Andover began their game-winning rally in the most unlikely
way, via a strikeout. Jen Kaplan (0-2), who had pitched a no-hitter through six
frames, but Brooks’s Cassandra Hunt had shut down PA’s offense, striking out
seven of the first nine batters she faced, and the teams were deadlocked, 0-0,
as Brooks came up to bat.