WESTFIELD, NJ — The Westfield High School softball team has shown the ability to score runs in its 7-0 start to the season.
The Lady Blue Devils are averaging 12 runs per game in victories over Union, Chatham, Union Catholic, Scotch Plains-Fanwood, Dayton, Summit and Johnson. Westfield has score double-digit runs in five of its seven wins, opening the season with four straight double-digit run performances.
Most recently, Westfield scored 19 runs in a victory over Johnson on Tuesday.
“Offensively, we have been performing well,” said Westfield head coach Caitlin Cheddar. “We are working together as a team to string hits together as well as utilizing our speed and bunting ability to move runners over.”
Westfield has also been very strong in the circle and on defense. The Lady Blue Devils have not allowed over two runs in any game through the first seven.
Senior pitcher Michaela Hobson has been incredible in the circle. She has struck out 62 batters through seven games, including 12 strikeouts apiece in wins over Dayton and Union Catholic. She is only giving up three hits per game. In addition, Hobson has been just as strong offensively. She has hit two home runs to go along with a team-leading 17 RBI, 12 hits and five runs scored.
“Michaela has been our rock,” Cheddar added. “She has been sharp in the circle and locked in at the plate. She has been a powerful and strong leader for us on and off the field.”
Cheddar said the team has focused on winning every inning, and improving in each game. The Lady Blue Devils have focused on jumping out to early leads in games.
“If we are able to keep that mindset, we will continue to have success,” the coach said. “We will be facing a number of strong teams in the coming weeks, and we look forward to performing well and improving every day.”
Westfield has been able to utilize its speed in the team’s hot start. Cheddar’s group has stolen 13 bases, led by three from junior Emily Gordon. The ability to put pressure on opposing defenses has been beneficial for the Lady Blue Devils early on.
“This year, we do have some speed, and we have been utilizing it as much as we can,” the coach said. “We hope to continue to do this as the season progresses in the form of stolen bases but also in taking extra bases and putting pressure on the defense when we can.”
Junior Kalea Calugay has been another offensive weapon with 14 hits and 11 RBI. She leads the team with six doubles and 16 runs scored. Fellow junior Alivia Macaluso is second on the team with 14 runs scored. She has a team-leading 15 hits and 11 RBI.
“Alivia, Kalea and Michaela are all off to a great start,” Cheddar said. “They have been focused on taking quality at-bats, paying attention to pitch patterns and working the counts.”
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