WEST CALDWELL, NJ - James Caldwell’s varsity softball team managed a 15-10 record last season, but the record does not tell the entire story. The Chiefs' season included a walk-off victory over rival school Verona, and another impressive triumph over eventual conference champ Newark Academy, 4-2. Their season certainly had its positives and this year, the team will look to improve on the success of last year.

After losing infield captains Shannon Johnson and Nina Ricci to graduation, coach Mike Teshkoyan will look to retool his infield and his team’s chemistry with new captains Christina Guarino, Alyssa Mermini and Anna Rowland. Of his three new choices for captain, Teshkoyan said, “This trio have been with the varsity since freshman (year) and are working hard getting the team to bond and work together.” As the team works through the season, having established leaders will undoubtedly help the team.

Both Mermini and Rowland are hard-working outfielders who also contribute at the plate, and Guarino is the starting catcher whose walk-off single helped beat Verona last season. Guarino’s chemistry with returning starting pitcher Carlie Corrigan is also highlighted by Teshkoyan. “They have great chemistry and the tools to lead us successfully this season,” he explained through email. Backing up Corrigan in the rotation is sophomore Bridget Nichols.

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As two starting infielders were lost, Teshkoyan has been tasked with finding new pieces for his infield. He is looking to Ashleigh Bryant to play third base, and moving over to shortstop from third is Jaci Murphy. Returning starter Taylor Stafford is again at first, but Teshkoyan says the void at second base still must be filled.

Sophomores Devon Stafford and Sam Vitiello will also be utilized as the season progresses.

Teshkoyan is excited about the journey ahead with his team, but knows off the field is just as important.

“Our goals like always are to strive for excellence both on and off the field while working hard to bond and come together as one.”