On any given spring day, Co-Captain Emily DiLella ’16 can be found playing softball on the diamond. Following the footsteps of her older sister, Katie DiLella ’09, she donned her sister’s old gear and began playing softball at the age of six for the youth team called the Teddy Bears.
Since then, she has continued to play because she loves not only the energy and passion involved in the sport, but also the relationships she has created with her teammates over the years. “[Softball] is a lot about picking your teammates up by cheering and things [on and off the field,]” DiLella said.
Last season was DiLella’s statistically best season yet. She had a career high of 49 at-bats and ten runs batted in, helping her nomination for the position of Best Softball Player in the Colonial Valley Conference on NJ.com.
One of DiLella’s best games was during the Teaneck Tournament hosted by Teaneck High School. “I had a double and a triple, and [we] beat a team that was undefeated,” DiLella said.
DiLella also contributes to the team dynamic and led the team in preseason workouts to help with its preparation and add to its cohesiveness. “There has usually been snow on the ground, so we usually prepare inside. But this year we did not have a lot, allowing us to spend more time outside than normal,” she said. “We spent a lot of time doing stairs the first few weeks before the season started, so the team is [very] fit.”
As the co-captain, DiLella also has the responsibility of making sure her teammates remain excited, determined, and focused all throughout the season. “I chose her to be captain because she’s hardworking and knows how to play the game. [The] girls listen to her and respect her,” said Head Coach Dave Boehm. “This is her first year as captain, and because she does not play for any other club team, she is able to dedicate all of her time to bettering her game and supporting her teammates.”
“I’ve become a better teammate, leader, and have been hitting balls better,” DiLella said. Last season, she reached a personal best of a .265 batting average, a large increase from her freshman average of .111. She credits these achievements to the support and talent of her teammates and to the intelligence of her coaches.
While her leadership position and playing have positively benefited the team, DiLella does not plan on playing softball competitively after graduating. Instead, she wants to use her athletic ability to discover new interests in different recreational sports.