• Donate to The Hudson Independent
  • You Can Be in a Hud Indy Ad Too
Rivertowns Sports

Hackley Sophomore Sensation Dominating on Mound and at Plate

• Bookmarks: 233

May 12, 2023

By Tom Pedulla—

Andy Hegarty has been honing her softball skills with Eric Holtz since she was 12. Her commitment to excellence stood out even then.

  • Support The Indy - Year-End Ask
  • Work for The Hud Indy

“She loved putting the work in and a lot of kids don’t,” said Holtz, who owns and operates Game On 13 in Elmsford. “A lot of kids want to reap the rewards without putting in the necessary work.”

Three years later, Hegarty’s tremendous work ethic, combined with abundant talent, are taking her to unimagined heights. The precocious sophomore has emerged as a dominant pitcher for Hackley in sweeping eight of her first nine decisions with no-hitters against Riverdale Country School, Trinity, Horace Mann and Convent of the Sacred Heart of New York.

The right-hander has allowed only five earned runs while ringing up a remarkable 150 strikeouts through her first 61 innings for a .574 earned-run average. She has been equally superb offensively, batting .741 with seven home runs and 23 RBI.

“The numbers she is putting up are video-game numbers,” Holtz said. “They’re insane.”

Hegarty gained invaluable experience as a member of Holtz’s Lady Fury travel team. She is scheduled to compete in Prague this summer as a member of the Irish National Team.

All of this is hard for even Hegarty to wrap her arms around. “Everything is going very fast, especially this season with the strikeouts and everything,” she said. “That kind of shocked me.”

Margaret Scarcella, Hackley’s veteran coach, knows a special talent when she sees one. “You do see people like this, but they don’t come around very often,” she said. “To me, what makes it more special is she’s a down to earth kid. None of this has gotten to her head. She’s very humble, always putting the team first.”

Hegarty’s success reflects her dedication to the sport. “I just love it,” she said. “I practice for the school team five or six days a week. I do outside training. I work out two or three times a week. I do hitting and pitching lessons, so I work a lot at it.”

The Hackley ace throws four pitches – fastball, changeup, curveball and rise ball. Her fastball has been clocked at 63 miles per hour, an extraordinary speed for the scholastic level, and she has developed a great understanding of the art of pitching. With more experience and physical maturity, there is no telling how high is high for her.

“If you can be accurate and change speeds and have movement,” said Scarcella, “that’s the real deal.”

Hegarty’s devotion to offseason conditioning at Game On 13 has resulted in increased strength that allows her to be overpowering. “It’s not just arm strength and it’s not just whip. It’s the way the entire body moves,” Holtz said. “Girls’ softball is different from baseball. You need more explosiveness out of your lower half when you push off the rubber.”

When Hegarty finds herself with baserunners aboard, she relishes that pressure and takes her game to another level. “That’s kind of always been my thing. I get into tough situations, but I get out of it,” she said. “I’m known for that, I think.”

Hegarty’s goals are high. She hopes to lead Hackley to the Ivy League title and then to the championship of the New York State Independent Schools Tournament. She intends to go on to pitch at the Division 1 level and Holtz is exploring Ivy League possibilities on her behalf.

“For me, it’s all about setting your life up once this game is over,” he said.

Hegarty’s future is filled with exciting possibilities. With softball returning to the Olympics in 2028 and with both of her parents born in Ireland, she may be on course to represent Ireland in the Summer Games in Los Angeles.


Read or leave a comment on this story...

Andrea Martone - Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow real estate agent

Local Boys Basketball Squads Aiming to Show Improvement

By Tom Pedulla--- The Hudson Independent previews the local boys’ basketball season. Here is the outlook for each team: DOBBS...
Read More

Fatality at Broadway and McKeel Avenue Highlights Longstanding Risks for Tarrytown Pedestrians

By Barrett Seaman-- Nelida Distante, 82, of West Elizabeth Street in Tarrytown was crossing North Broadway at its intersection with...
Read More

Negative Declaration Issued for Apartment Plan Near Tarrytown Train Station

By Rick Pezzullo A multi-family rental project proposed at 29 South Depot Plaza in Tarrytown took a major step forward...
Read More

Al Schnier Reflects on His Life, Career and moe.’s Upcoming Shows at The Capitol Theatre

By W.B. King-- When Al Schnier thinks back to an early August evening in 1997, the phrase “imposter syndrome” comes...
Read More

“No Shave November” Raises Cancer Research Money in Honor of the Late Detective Dave Walsh

Some Irvington police officers were looking a little scruffy during the month of November. Others looked rather dashing. By month’s...
Read More

Marry a Character

MARRY A CHARACTER: Exploring Fictosexuality in a Lonely Trilogy By Krista Madsen– Anyone on a dating app these days can tell you...
Read More

Only the Lonely

ONLY THE LONELY: The epidemic and the ambassador By Krista Madsen– Dr. Ruth Westheimer, cute and candid sex therapist many of us...
Read More

Community Food Pantry Helps Residents in Need Year-Round

By Rick Pezzullo---  Two weeks before Thanksgiving, 410 families received a robust bag of groceries and a $20 gift certificate...
Read More

Racing Day In The Rivertowns

By Barrett Seaman— Blessed with a crisp, clear Autumn day, the annual pre-Thanksgiving Turkey Trot races in Tarrytown and Irvington...
Read More

Mt. Pleasant Grapples With Sleepy Hollow Voting Rights Charge

By Barrett Seaman-- The public seating area at a hearing held on Thursday, November 16 before the Mt. Pleasant Town...
Read More
233 recommended
bookmark icon