EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 18, 2013

Sports in a minute

By David Willis
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Safe and sound

Many have asked, following the tragic events of Monday, about the safety of former Andover High basketball great Ashley McLaughlin, who was running the Boston Marathon in memory of late teammate Alex Miliotis.

McLaughlin reported via text that she was safe and uninjured. The Miliotis family, who were in attendance, also escaped the attack unharmed.

Cardarelli is back

TD Garden favorite Jillian Cardarelli of Haverhill will be returning to Boston to perform the national anthem before the Bruins’ matchup against the Panthers on Sunday at 7 p.m. Video of her performance will be available at EagleTribune.com on Monday.

Cardarelli, a country singer, has been pursuing her career while attending college in Nashville. Her album “Just Me & You” was released on iTunes in January.

Tough times

Bad luck seems to be following the three captains of the Andover High softball team.

Junior outfielder Nicole Ericson, who hit .329 with 15 RBIs and 19 runs a year ago, is out for the season with a torn ACL suffered skiing and senior first baseman Allison Conway has missed the last several games with a concussion.

The only healthy captain is Meaghan Leary, who missed the majority of last season with a broken hand after being hit by a pitch.

It’s not a skirt

A caller, identifying himself only as a “proud Scotsman,” pointed out that the runners from the Frozen Shamrock road race in Haverhill who appeared in Monday’s sports section were running in kilts — not skirts.

Betcha didn’t know

Fun fact about the NCAA Hockey national championship, courtesy of colleague Mike McMahon.

The matchup of two Connecticut teams — champ Yale and Quinnipiac — took place on the 16th anniversary of the Hartford Whalers’ final game in Connecticut.

NBA Bound

A little torn ACL isn’t going to stop Everett’s Nerlens Noel from pursuing his NBA dream. The Kentucky freshman has announced he will enter the NBA draft.

Noel is projected to go No. 2 overall by nbadraft.net. Joining him as a potential lottery pick is the pride of the North Shore, Hamilton’s Michael Carter-Williams, who is projected as the No. 13 pick.

Could this conversation be about Haverhill’s Noah Vonleh a year from now? The Indiana-pound star is projected to go No. 5 in the 2014 NBA draft by the same website.

Spinner sighting

We may only be two weeks into the baseball season, but three former Lowell Spinners have already made their major league debuts.

Along with the obvious Jackie Bradley Jr. (Spinner in 2011), there is Sox reliever Alex Wilson and Twins pitcher Ryan Pressly, who were both Spinners in 2009.

Fun fact about Wilson, he is only the second player in major league history to be born in Saudi Arabia. His father was there working in the natural gas industry.

Aces in the hole

Through the first 13 games of the regular season, no Red Sox starter has allowed more than three earned runs in an appearance.

That’s the best run to start a season for an American League team since Milwaukee in 1990. And the Brewers left the AL in 1997.

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