Elizabeth McCaffery, varsity softball player

“Elizabeth is a freshman on the varsity softball team who starts at shortstop. She is a very coachable athlete who loves learning more about the game every day. Elizabeth is constantly striving to get better in every situation, always hustling and working hard, while pushing her teammates to better themselves at the same time. As our leadoff batter, she has come up big for Cranford softball while currently batting .400 and, with an on-base percentage of .480, she is among the top of the top of the county. It is a pleasure getting to coach Elizabeth and I look forward to having three more years with her here at Cranford High School.” — Coach Heather West

When did you first start playing softball?
“When I was 6 or 7. I was born and raised in a baseball and softball family. And I just fell in love with it when I first started playing.”

What are your biggest challenges?
“Just trying to stay upbeat, no matter what happens. If I strike out or make an error, just not letting it get into my head.”

What goes through your mind when you’re up at bat?
“I don’t think about much. I try to psyche myself up and say ‘You can do this.’ Tell myself I can do it.”

How do you bond with your teammates?
“Our coach started letting us play games and have team sleepovers and pasta parties, so we’ve gotten close.”

What’s your best on-field memory?
“In middle school, we were down a few runs and it was the last inning, and I got up and hit a home run and enough runs came in that we won against our crosstown enemy, Hillside Ave.”

Who are your role models? And why?
“My parents, because they taught me to never give up, no matter what, and to just push myself to be the best person on and off the field.”

Are you involved with any other activities in school or the community?
“I also play basketball for the high school, and a club team as well.”

Do you have any plans for the summer?
“I’m going to nationals this summer in Myrtle Beach for softball.”

Do you have any pre-game rituals?
“I am very superstitious. I wear the same hair tie. I’ll do the same warmups. I’ll go the same order. I try to stick to that if we’re winning.”

If you could have one superpower for one day, what would it be and why?
“I’d probably want to be able to fly, because I could get to places faster and wouldn’t have to wait. Plus, I could go wherever I wanted.”