WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield High School varsity softball captain Danielle Rinaldi is off to a great start this season, according to head coach Caitlin MacDonald. The senior third baseman is four for 13 in the Lady Blue Devils’ first four games with two doubles and three runs scored. She has also recorded eight assists and four put outs in the field.

“Danielle has done a nice job of stepping up into a leadership position this season,” MacDonald said of this week’s Ron Bansky and Associates Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week. “She's leading by example with her play and also is managing off-field responsibilities really well.”

The four-year varsity starter stayed sharp in the offseason by attending winter workouts, even while playing varsity basketball, MacDonald said. Rinaldi said she is motivated by her teammates and by her genuine love of the game.

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“There's nothing I enjoy more than facing a tough opponent and playing as a team to take them down,” she said. “I have grown up playing the game and love the hard work that goes into every detail, as well as the complexity of the game. I love to compete in every aspect of the word, and softball allows me to do that on both individual and team levels.” 

When it comes to softball, Rinaldi’s is inspired by her brother, Chris.

“Chris plays Division I baseball at the College of the Holy Cross, and he has taught me volumes about the game and the hard work that goes into being successful,” she said. “Growing up, we always played catch together and challenged each other to get better in any way we could. I admire his work ethic and determination to reach his goals of playing high-level baseball. He has made me a better player in many ways, and I always look up to him for that.” 

Rinaldi said she is currently in the final stages of deciding which four-year college she will attend next year.

“Although I will not be playing varsity sports in college, I am excited to get involved in intramurals and to focus on my academic schedule, as I plan to pursue a career in medicine,” she said. “Something about me that not many people know is that I'm in the process of learning sign language for my senior project.”

You can catch Rinaldi and the rest of the Lady Blue Devils next on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Union High School and at home this Saturday at 11 a.m. versus Edison.

 “We are excited to see what Danielle can accomplish this season,” MacDonald said.

The Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Ron Bansky & Associates Allstate Agency. Now located 502 East Broad St., the agency has been protecting local families and business owners for over 15 years. Call them at 908-301-0711 for a new auto, home or life insurance quote this week and if you mention the Allstate WHS Athlete of the Week they will make a $25 contribution to the Westfield Boosters Association! To learn more, visit ronbansky.com