The Rowan softball team has seen many new faces this season, from pitcher Rylee Lutz to starting centerfielder McKenzie Melvin, to utility player Devyn Dipasquale. One new addition to the team has blossomed in recent weeks.
Freshman infielder Liz McCaffery out of Cranford, New Jersey has been a starter for the Profs in all 28 games this season.
Although she has had to make adjustments playing at the collegiate level, McCaffery is extremely happy with her decision to play at Rowan. She cites many reasons for why she landed in Glassboro to continue her softball career.
“Definitely the coach, [Head Coach Kim Wilson] is awesome, I love her. She was at a lot of my tournaments and always reaching out and very down to earth, I like that about her,” McCaffery said. “Then I came and I visited the campus and I was like ‘okay how can I not go here? It’s gorgeous here, it’s super nice’ and I’ve been really lucky thus far. I’ve had an awesome journey.”
In the last week, she was named New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Rookie of the Week. During recent contests, she batted .667 and went 6-9 with four walks, two RBIs and also added a double. In games against Rutgers-Camden, she collected five hits, and added two RBIs. Against Rutgers-Newark she added a hit and another RBI.
McCaffery is a versatile player and is strong on both sides of the field, which is why she has earned a spot in the starting lineup.
“She worked really hard in the fall. We recruited her, she’s a good athlete, she’s got a good arm,” Coach Wilson said. “We put her at a couple different positions actually so far this season. She’s played third, she’s played second and we moved her around a little bit. Athletically, she can play a bunch of different positions and she’s come into her own recently, and hitting the ball really well, so we’re pretty happy about that.”
On the offensive end, McCaffery is batting .316, with 24 hits, four doubles and adding 16 RBIs. Her coaches have been working with her every step of the way and have instilled confidence in her when she’s at the plate.
“My coaches have definitely been working with me, they’ll take videos of me, they’ll tweak even if it’s the smallest little thing,” McCaffery said. “They’re super persistent, they’re really confident with me and just having that support and knowing they believe in me I feel like has definitely allowed me to have confidence in myself.”
Another notch in her belt is the number of walks she has drawn this season. She currently leads the team with 15 walks, which is second in the NJAC as well. Coach Wilson states that she is very composed at the plate.
“She’s pretty disciplined, she doesn’t swing at a lot of balls,” Coach Wilson said. “Going up [to the plate] with the mindset that no matter how I get on, I just want to be on base just gotta do something for the team.’”
McCaffery has fluctuated throughout the lineup during the season. She has batted seventh, sixth, and even third in the lineup. For the last two games, she has batted in the five-hole. McCaffery understands her role at the plate and how she can be productive.
“I just go in [to the plate] and try and have an approach depending on the situation, who’s on, who’s hitting behind me, who’s hitting in front of me,” McCaffery said. “I try to be as patient as possible as I have more strikes on me, my zone pretty much expands. Before every at-bat, I’ll take a deep breath, kind of relax a little bit and I just go in there and try and do the best that I can.”
In understanding the role she can play in a high-power offense like the Profs’, Coach Wilson grasps the production that McCaffery can have at the plate.
“We’re looking for an RBI potential with her,” Coach Wilson said. “she’s a good base runner, she’s got some good speed, so we can turn the lineup over with her a lot.”
In Rowan’s most recent games where they split a doubleheader with TCNJ 3-2 and 11-1, McCaffery went 1-3 in the first game and 2-4 in the second, where she picked up a pair of RBIs.
McCaffery has proven herself on the offensive and defensive end throughout the season. She has also been a vital part of Rowan’s No. 16 ranking nationally and their 22-6 record so far in the 2022 campaign.
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