KITTERY, Maine — The honor found Kaylie Andrews on Wednesday morning, days after she’d traded in her softball uniform for a different kind of Traip Academy apparel
Andrews, a senior pitcher, was named one of six finalists for the Miss Maine Softball Award. She and Emily McKenney of Madison are the only players from non-Class A schools in the running for the honor.
“I heard it this morning during marching practice for graduation,” said Andrews. “I was just very surprised because of how wide the range is with all the girls.”
The winner will be announced on June 26. Since the award was instituted in 1999, no local athlete has won it.
The Rangers went 5-11 in Western Maine Class C, missing the playoffs but improving their win total by three from 2013. They were led by Andrews and senior shortstop Alli Barrett, who were both captains.
Andrews finished the season with 52 strikeouts and 37 defensive outs. She and Barrett, the Rangers’ top hitter, were named co-team MVPs.
“This season was Kaylie’s best season yet pitching,” said Traip coach Chris Andrews, her father. “We got many comments from Class B (opponents) on how Kaylie was the best pitcher they’ve seen from Traip in a very long time.
“Her and Alli – sure going to miss those two.”
Andrews is a four-year varsity player who started every game but one since she was a freshman.
“I’ve probably improved every year,” she said. “I’m proud of where I’ve come from.”
The other finalists for Miss Maine Softball are Alyssa Williamson of Scarborough, Amber Kelly of Noble, Erin Brayden of Thornton Academy and Kylee Knight of Messalonskee.
“It’s nice to see that the hard work and dedication that a Traip Academy student-athlete has given is being recognized at the state level,” said Mike Roberge, the school’s activities director. “Kaylie’s dedication and involvement to improve the softball program has allowed her to meet and exceed personal goals that she has set for herself.”
Andrews will attend the University of Southern Maine next year, where she is slated to play field hockey, the sport where she was four times named to the All-Western Maine Conference team. College softball may be in her future down the road, she said.
“I was recruited to play field hockey because field hockey’s my No. 1 sport,” she said, “but maybe my sophomore year I’ll play softball, too.”
A year-round player who trains with former Marshwood High School standout Krystal Bosse at USA Training Centers, Andrews boasts a five-pitch repertoire: fastball, two-seam fastball, drop curve, screwball and change-up.
She said she also enjoyed the two years at Traip playing for her dad. Her class graduates on Friday.
“He’s always been there,” she said. “I just appreciate all the support he’s given me since I was, like, 8-years-old.”