EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

May 21, 2013

Atkinson connection

Atkinson quartet providing huge boost for Central

(Continued)

“I think the field is pretty balanced,” said Methuen coach Jason Smith. “We are excited to have Amesbury back in our tournament. I have so much respect for coach Perry and what his program has accomplished over the years. They are a veteran squad that is having another great year.

“Andover always battles hard, especially in our tournament. ... Whittier puts up a lot of runs. Their offensive numbers are impressive. We know that we are in for a challenge on Friday.

“We always set several goals each year. One goal is always to win our own tournament. But, it is just as important is to perform at a high level at the end of the regular season. We hope to be running on all cylinders, play well, and use the momentum from those games and carry it over into the state tournament.”

Andover opens with Amesbury at 5 p.m. Friday with Methuen and Whittier at 7 p.m. The consolation and championship games are at 5 and 7 p.m. Saturday.

NA tourney

At virtually the same time as the Methuen Tournament is the North Andover Tournament.

Lowell faces Chelmsford at 4:30 p.m. Friday with the host Knights taking on Newburyport at 6:30. The consolation and championship games are set for Saturday at 4:30 and 6:30.

Like the Methuen Tournament, there is no huge favorite here. Chelmsford might rate a slight edge, but every one of the teams is capable of putting together two good games.

North Andover has struggled a bit without senior Courtney Green. She came back to catch last week but still isn’t able to hit.

Methuen tourney winners

2012 — Andover

2011 — Whittier

2010 — Methuen

2009 — Methuen

2008 — Andover

2007 — North Andover

2006 — North Andover

2005 — Methuen

2004 — Methuen

2003 — Methuen

2002 — Methuen

2001 — Andover

2000 — Andover

FAB 5 The Eagle-Tribune's weekly ranking of area softball teams: 1. Central Catholic 15-2 2. Timberlane 14-3 3. Phillips Academy 11-0 4. Salem 12-4 5. Methuen 12-6 Honorable mention: Whittier (13-4)

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