EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

May 21, 2013

Atkinson connection

Atkinson quartet providing huge boost for Central

(Continued)

“I’ve always been a solid hitter but I went in a slump in the middle of last year and I didn’t want that to happen again,” said Leavitt. “I worked on my hitting a lot during the winter, at least three times a week with my father at Play Ball.”

At the same time, Leavitt has been impressive defensively at third base. Until last year, she had always played shortstop but, with standout Alex Borrelli on hand last year, she switched to third base.”

“Now I probably like it (third) better,” said Leavitt. “You get a lot of action.”

Central Catholic coach Stacy Ciccolo couldn’t be more impressed with either Leavitt or the entire foursome.

“Karoline is incredibly athletic and has become one of the best third basemen in the league. She has great fire and enthusiasm,” said Ciccolo. “Leslie is an awesome first baseman and her glove has saved us several times. She was recruited by several schools and chose Babson.

“I can’t say enough about the character and work ethic of these girls. They are awesome team players and very unselfish.”

Methuen tourney

This week’s Methuen Tournament appears to be the most interesting and balanced in years.

Amesbury, which returns to the tournament after two years to replace Lawrence, has lost only once all year, high-scoring Whittier can bat with anyone and has only lost three times all year, Methuen is enjoying a fine 12-6 season and Andover, while struggling, is the defending champion and always plays well in the tourney.

Amesbury, coached by veteran Chris Perry (who has won more than 500 games and three state championships), is led by pitcher Jackie Merrill (1.11 ERA, 61 Ks, 12 walks in 69 innings) shortstop Amanda Schell and catcher Cassie Schultz. Whittier is paced by hitters like Destiny Jordan, Cassey Glode and Josie Sanchez, a young Methuen team gets leadership from senior pitcher Chrissy Scionti and is usually led at the plate by freshman Kat LeFebre and sophomore Kelly Backwell while Andover is fueled by senior Meg Leary.

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