OUTLOOK: Dracut, which moves from Division 2 to Division 1 in the MVC, may be the team to beat with the return of Laura Ramirez as their top pitcher but no one is discounting Central Catholic because of ace pitcher Olivia Antczak. Chelmsford lost a lot to graduation but still should be formidable and Methuen is a legitimate darkhorse.
In Division 2, newcomer North Andover may rate a slight edge in a wide-open field that includes Lowell, which moved down from Division 1.
2012 season: 13-10, lost Division 1 North quarterfinals
Returning starters (5): Meaghan Leary, Sr., SS; Jordan Day, Sr., 3B; Allison Conway, Sr., 2B; Nicole Ericson, Jr., CF; Mimi Olney, Jr., C
Returning lettermen: Lizzie Kaufman, Sr., C/OF; Eugenie Moffitt, Sr., INF/OF; Lea Giacchetto, Sr., OF; Laura McNaughton, Jr., P/INF; Meghan Vogel, Jr., OF; Erin Nastari, Jr., OF; Paige Hartnett, Soph., INF/OF; Brooke Kabriel, Soph., 3B; Amy Stankiewicz, Soph., P; Paige Hartnett, Soph., 2B/OF
Promising newcomers: Eri Kobayashi, Sr., OF; Laura Ippolito, Jr., OF; Victoria Roche, Frosh., C; Eri Kobayashi, Sr., OF; Abby Day, Frosh., P
Captains: Nicole Ericson, Meaghan Leary, Allison Conway
Returning honorees: Nicole Ericson, MVC All-Star; Jordan Day and Mimi Olney, honorable mention All-MVC
Fast facts: Last year Andover posted its most wins since going 13-5 in 2005 and reached the North quarters for the first time since 2003. The No. 15 Golden Warriors toppled No. 2 Masconomet in the first round. ... Andover has suffered ill fortune since last year. Pitcher Cassandra Hunt transferred to Brooks, MVC All-Star Nicole Ericson suffered a torn ACL and MCL skiing and is out for the year, Meaghan Leary separated her shoulder but is expected back and five players from last year’s team, including at least two potential starters, did not come out. ... Laura Ippolito is a transfer from Phillips Academy. ... Due to low numbers, the Warriors will not field a freshman team.