Sara Moeller of Andover, who recently completed her junior year at Brooks, may be the best softball pitcher in the area that no one knows about.
It’s understandable, really. The pandemic wiped out her sophomore high school season and the Independent School League (ISL) didn’t allow its member schools to report results this spring.
It’s too bad because Moeller had quite the impressive spring. She sported a 1.70 ERA, struck out 73 batters in 37 innings (averaging over 10 per game) while only allowing eight walks.
“She was dominant with speed and overall effectiveness and she has excellent control,” said Brooks coach Andrea Heinze.
A particularly impressive game was when Moeller contained Phillips Academy slugger Kiley Buckley and shut out the hard-hitting Big Blue, 1-0.
In that game, Moeller allowed Phillips just four hits (one by Buckley) and struck out 14 in a dominating performance.
“That was my favorite game,” said Moeller, who mainly sticks with three pitches — a fastball, curve and changeup. “I had a good game and it felt really good to beat them. My freshman year, they beat us pretty bad when I was pitching so this was like redemption.”
Moeller, who also plays first base and outfield on occasion, also hit a solid .353 for Brooks, but pitching is her calling card. She’s been pitching since she was 11, is on her second pitching coach and has made softball a priority over the other two sports she’s engaged in, soccer and basketball.
Moreover, Moeller was a centerpiece of a young Brooks team that could have made some major noise together in 2022.
But there’s one problem. Moeller has decided to transfer to Cushing Academy and repeat her junior year.
That will allow her to strengthen her academics, which slipped a bit when she was forced to do remote learning during the pandemic but has since risen, and pad her softball resume prior to playing in college.
Her departure is a blow to Brooks and, when the school discovered that she was headed to Cushing, it offered her the same opportunity to repeat a year. But it was too late.
“I had already committed to Cushing and it seems like the right decision for me,” said Moeller, who will play for the Mass. Rapids this summer after playing for The Firecrackers a year ago.
“But it was a tough decision and it was really hard telling Ms. Heinze — she’s really great — and tough telling my teammates, but they understand. I am doing it mainly for sports.”
So once again, Moeller will not be in the local spotlight much. But it will definitely be worth checking up on her.
It was quite a year for high school softball pitchers from Andover. In addition to Sara Moeller from Brooks, Andover High’s Jackie Giordano had a terrific freshman year, sporting a 1.33 ERA while also hitting. 378. Phillips Academy alternated two sophomore pitchers — Fallon O’Connor and Lauren Mahoney both of Andover — with excellent results.
As it turns out, Brooks will have another outstanding pitcher from Andover next year because Giordano is transferring there and will repeat her freshman year.