Westfield High School Softball Aims for Strong Season with Combination of Experience & Young Talent

The Westfield High School varsity softball team will play its first game of the season at home against Cranford Saturday. Credits: Varsity Vantage

WESTFIELD, NJ — After an 8-14 season last year, the Westfield High School varsity softball team will strive for more as the Blue Devils bring back 10 players with varsity experience. This gives the team plenty of depth despite the loss of last year’s two senior starters, Hailey Reilly and Elena Elliott.

“Our offensive lineup should be much stronger than it was last year,” head coach Caitlin MacDonald said. “Our returners have come back stronger and more disciplined at the plate. We also should have a strong pitching staff with Bridget Hyland, returning starter, and sophomore Lauren Sullivan, who have both looked strong in preseason.”

The team has many untested players, too. Sophomores Genevieve Howell, Rachel Rothenberg and Lauren Sullivan will look to work their way into the lineup as well as freshman Jess Schlewitt, who is competing for a varsity position, according to MacDonald.

Sign Up for E-News

“One factor that may be viewed as a weakness in our team this season is the number of newcomers we are bringing in, but personally I see this as an advantage,” senior infielder and star player Danielle Rinaldi said. “With so many new players, we will be very versatile. Also, everyone must work hard to maintain their playing time, which will make us a much stronger team.”

According to Rinaldi, the team appears to be more hitting-oriented, as the lineup has consistently produced six or more runs per scrimmage. Rinaldi hopes the Lady Blue Devils can continue this trend.

“This season, we look to come out strong and stay strong, using our team mentality to our advantage,” Rinaldi said. “Last year, we had a number of promising scrimmages and fell flat, so our primary goal is to focus on the first game and take this season one game at a time. In our conference, no game is a guarantee, which means we will need to work hard to capitalize on every opportunity we're given.”

The team also looks to improve on more than just the mechanics.

“We need to build on last year by playing smart softball,” MacDonald said. “We are hoping that the team emerges as a confident one that builds each other up and holds each other accountable. We have a lot of potential and I'm really eager to see the team play to that potential.”

The team has done their best to prepare despite the snow that has only recently melted away.

“The snow has kept us inside for longer than we would've liked, but the bright side is that every team in the area has been dealing with the same issues,” Rinaldi said. “We are very lucky to have two indoor batting cages, and we have taken full advantage of our indoor practices to focus on hitting. Although it is far from ideal, we've made the best of our time inside and have worked very hard in our recent outdoor practices to squeeze in everything that we need to cover.”

Overall, Westfield hopes the mix of youth and experience will be a winning formula.

“Since last year, we have lost a few key players, but our returning players are coming back with a vengeance and a new mentality, along with a number of new additions,” Rinaldi said. “With this combination, we can truly be explosive and make a statement in the county tournament.”

Eric Storms is a student at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Westfield.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Dozens of Dogs Rescued from Squalor in Roselle, According to Authorities

June 20, 2018

ROSELLE, NJ — A Roselle man will be charged with multiple criminal offenses after more than 40 dogs were discovered living in severely unsanitary and inhumane living conditions in his home last week, according to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

According to the authorities, members of those two agencies, ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update, June 19

June 20, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

Good evening everyone! It’s been another busy two weeks with lots of great stuff happening. These past two weeks were particularly fun because I spent lots of time with lots of kids:

-I met with Franklin third graders in Mindowaskin Park as part of their day-long ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, June 21, 7:30 PM

Mindowaskin Park, Westfield

Westfield Summer Concert Series

Arts & Entertainment


Fri, June 22, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Southern Maryland Blue ...


Fri, June 22, 7:30 PM

Crossroads, Garwood

Benefit Concert

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

Westfield Police Blotter: Criminal Mischief to Vehicles Continues & More

June 20, 2018

June 13, 2018 9:24 a.m.

Officer Santangelo arrested Hakan Kaya, age 46, of Westfield, New Jersey on an outstanding warrant (#E19490) in the amount of $304.00 out of Neptune City Municipal Court pursuant to turning himself in at WPD Headquarters. Subject was processed and released after posting the full bail amount.


June 13, 2018 11:02 a.m.

Lieutenant McFarlean and Officer ...

State Farm Lowers Auto Rates in New Jersey

June 20, 2018

State Farm Indemnity Company will cut its rates in New Jersey. As a result, its overall personal auto rate will drop by up to 2.7%. The total state-wide expected impact for State Farm Indemnity Company by this rate decrease in New Jersey will be approximately $15.5 million.


“State Farm Indemnity Company always looks to create long-term value for its customers with the products ...

Let's Talk About Suicide

In our world today, it seems our children, no matter the town, state, education, family unit, socioeconomic background, ethnicity or religion are grappling with complex, confounding and complicated issues not even fit for a middle-aged adult. Sadly, one of these issues is suicide. With mental health gaining more attention, the stigma appears to be dissipating but when a mental health ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...

Understand the New Law for Paid Sick Leave

Paid sick leave is now the law in New Jersey.

New Jersey has passed a paid sick leave law which preempts paid sick leave ordinances adopted by several cities and towns so there is now one uniform law in this area for New Jersey employers. Here is what you need to know about the new law.

33 Homes Sold June 10 to June 17 in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside & Cranford

Thirty-three Homes sold from June 10 to June 17, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside.*


TOWN         ADDRESS                      STYLE    ...

Westfield 3rd Graders Receive Top Honors at Mock Trial Competition

Westfield third graders recently received top honors for three mock court cases they presented at the New Jersey Bar Foundation Law Fair.

“I am proud that, out of 84 entries submitted, our third grade students (now fourth graders) in the Gifted Program have won 1st Place, 2nd Place and Honorable Mention in the 3rd Grade category [of the Law Fair ...

Maximizing Your Portfolio’s Returns -- Beware the Taxman

The old adage in the investment world is that it is not what you make, but what you keep that counts.  Investors often overlook the ultimate deflator of portfolio returns – the taxman. An astute global asset allocation should be the number one priority for investors.  However, there are preferred ways to distribute this asset allocation over the spectrum of taxable and ...


In honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's (of righteous memory) 24th  Yahrtzeit (anniversary of his passing) this coming Saturday the 16th.

Excerpts from an address given by Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel on April 7, 1992, at a congressional dinner held in Washington on the occasion of the Rebbe's 90th birthday.

Some of you are aware of my admiration, not only ...

Healthy U Spring Symposium Marks 10 Years of Community Impact

WESTFIELD, NJ — More than 100 Healthy U champions and partners from YMCAs and schools from all over the state gathered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on May 18 to celebrate 10 years of community impact. Healthy U was also formally presented with the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health. 

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is the ...

Bridgewater Mall Shut Down for 2 Hours After Fight Breaks Out

June 14, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — No injuries have been reported after a fight involving a crowd of people shut down the Bridgewater Commons Mall for two hours Thursday evening.

According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall was resuming normal business operations.

According to Somerset County ...


Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more