Less than 24 hours after being eliminated from the North 2 Group IV playoffs, the Westfield High School softball team went right back to work.
Two-time reigning Union County Tournament champion Governor Livingston proved to be no match for the top-seeded Blue Devils, as they cranked out a 15-1 victory in five innings for their first county championship since 1998 on Thursday evening at Kean University.
“It was clear from the first inning that we came out determined after playing a tough game (Wednesday),” said Westfield coach Caitlin MacDonald. “We knew we were going to face the same type of opponent. I think (Wednesday) we felt a little underwhelmed with our performance, and I think we didn’t want to walk away from the season with any regrets. They absolutely played a great game today.”
The Blue Devils (20-5) jumped right on things in the top of the second inning. They sent nine girls to the plate and scored five runs. Cali Chambliss’ two-run double highlighted the inning.
“We knew we wanted to score first. That was one of our main goals,” said Chambliss. “Up at the plate, I wanted to make solid contact. All of us have been hitting well all year and it was good to be successful today.”
The fifth inning was when Westfield tacked everything on. It capitalized on three Highlanders’ errors and sent 14 girls to plate, scoring eight. Julia Criscuolo smacked a two-run double to highlight the rally.
All of the runs were in favor of Westfield hurler Elena Scarano. Scarano allowed just one earned run in five innings.
“It was really great going in and having a bunch of runs on our backs already,” Scarano said. “It took a lot of pressure off of me and allowed me to go after each batter with confidence.”
The outcome of the game was much different than when Westfield fell to Governor Livngston in the 2011 UCT final.
“These girls have worked so hard, and we talked to them yesterday about bringing home the hardware,” said MacDonald. “My assistant coach said it best. He said, ‘1998 was last century,’ and they knew they were due. They absolutely wanted this one.”
“We knew that going in we were facing a tough team and we gave it our best effort,” said Chambliss. “We wanted to go out with a bang, and we knew after losing the game (Wednesday) we could still win a championship.”