Bordentown High softball looks to depth and leadership this season

At third base, Bordentown's Michaela Luyber squares up to the batter in a team scrimmage on March 22. Returning this year as a senior, Luyber is going to be another pivotal teammate at the top of the batting lineup who head coach Nicole O’Leary felt sets the pace for matchups. Photo by Thomas Wiedmann

As the Bordentown Regional High School softball team gears up for the 2019 season, its lineup depth will be a key focus this spring.

With a number of incoming freshmen as well as key returning seniors, Bordentown coach Nicole O’Leary said that communication between the veterans and underclassmen will be essential for a successful year.

The year will open on April 1 when Bordentown is home to Riverside Township High School. The game is slated to start at 4 p.m.

“We’re looking for a great season,” O’Leary said. “We have a few new freshmen coming into the program that are really going to help [and] we have a good senior class, so we have great leadership with girls coming in, so gaining that cohesion of working together and putting it all together on the field.

“Most of them don’t play on travel softball teams together, so the communication of working with one another – those freshmen stepping on the field – getting them to take charge of the positions that they’re playing and not being scared to communicate and talk,” she added.

In finding voices and leadership for a deep lineup this season, O’Leary believes that all of the team’s seniors will play a key role, but two starters she pointed to in the roster were captains, Michaela Luyber and Makenza Goleniecki, who she said are “the real dominant voices on the field.”

With Goleniecki taking charge as the starting catcher this season, O’Leary said that she’s going to be a leading catalyst for the team, especially for the incoming freshmen.

“Makenza, just being a catcher alone, is a predominant voice on the field,” she said. “She’s that go-to kid that all-around takes leadership, communicates with everyone, teaches the new [players] as well as leads the entire team.”

Starting at third base this year, senior Michaela Luyber, is going to be another pivotal weapon at the top of the batting lineup, according to the coach.

“Michaela is a returning senior and starter who has taken that presence, predominantly in our one-batter-spot,” she said.  “She goes out there and sets the tone for the game.”

But even with multiple seniors to pave the way for the team this season, O’Leary said that several of her freshmen players had already left a positive impression on her during the preseason.

She said that the incoming players not only have the potential to provide some power in the lineup, offensively, but help contribute to the team’s overall attacking prowess as well.

“I’d like to think that we’re all-around ready to go,” she said. “We have some strong bats. Even some of our freshmen coming in – we’ve had three scrimmages, and they’ve dominated in that sense too. They’re coming in and joining in the tone of being an aggressive, offensive team.”

Alongside a powerful batting lineup, O’Leary revealed  that the team’s versatility in multiple positions will be another focus this season. By having players contribute in utility roles on the field, it will take time for the team to hone in on learning new roles, but O’Leary felt that it will strengthen the team as a whole unit.

“The depth of the team is very great,” she said. “No one has any set position for the most part. There’s going to be players moving around and maybe playing out of the familiar places than what they’re used to from playing in travel softball, so it’s just a matter of getting them to work together.”

Although multiple factors are at-hand for the Scotties to have a promising season which will rely on leadership, powerful bats, utility and depth, O’Leary still has one simple message to the team for the year.

“Come out and put it all out on the field every day,” she said. “Don’t question if you’ve done enough or if you did it right. Just come out, play their game and things will happen as they should.”


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