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May 21, 2013

Atkinson connection

Atkinson quartet providing huge boost for Central

No, they’re not a famous singing group, although they are becoming quite well known in Merrimack Valley Conference softball circles.

Their names are Leslie Moore, Karoline Leavitt, Olivia Antczak and Ally Cavanaugh and they’re all Central Catholic players from Atkinson, N.H.

They’re also at the heart of the Raiders’ hopes for postseason glory.

Leavitt, a sophomore third baseman, leads the team in RBIs with 24 and is hitting .448, Moore is a senior first baseman and a dangerous clutch hitter batting a team-leading .450, the sophomore Cavanaugh starts at second base and is batting over .300 and Antczak is the team’s ace pitcher (broke several school pitching records last year as a freshman) and a strong hitter (.387) with a stunning on-base percentage of .673.

Last week, Moore, Leavitt and Antczak combined for six RBIs in an 8-7 win over Methuen and all four of the Atkinson Raiders had two RBIs in a 9-7 win over Chelmsford.

Leavitt and Antczak have played on teams their whole lives, often with Cavanaugh, and the foursome have a strong bond that has helped the Raiders (15-2) get off to a stronger start than expected following the graduation of five starters from last year’s 19-5 squad.

“At the beginning of the season, I was a little unsure of what to expect because we were lacking experience,” said Leavitt. “But we had some key players back like me, Leslie and Olivia, and some other players have really stepped in.

“I’m more encouraged all the time. I think we can make a run in the tournament.”

The Raiders’ defense has not been quite as solid as in the past, but the hitting has been impressive all year, led by Leavitt, who has five home runs, seven doubles and two triples among her hits.

The younger sister of former football/wrestling star Mike Leavitt and standout golfer Joe Leavitt, she hit well over .300 last year, but she wasn’t satisfied.

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