This is a printer-friendly version of an article from Zip06.com.Article Published July 2, 2020
Alivia Ciarcia likes to think about situations on the softball field from a tactical perspective. Alivia knows that every player at every position has a purpose on the diamond.
Alivia is a shortstop who was selected as one of the senior captains for the Westbrook softball team this spring. Coming off of a rebuilding year, Alivia and the Knights were poised for a strong 2020 season with several key seniors returning. Although Westbrook didn’t get to compete due to COVID-19, Alivia appreciates that time that she’s spent playing softball in her hometown.
“I’ve been playing softball for nine years, but played tee-ball before that,” says Alivia, who recently graduated from Westbrook. “My mom and dad got me into playing softball, because my mom played her whole life, and my dad played softball in a men’s league for fun up until a couple of years ago. I enjoy the different situations and tactical decisions we have to make, both offensively and defensively.”
Alivia was one of the most productive players in Westbrook’s lineup last year. She posted a .327 batting average to go with 15 runs scored on the campaign. Head Coach Caitlin Eichler was also complimentary of Alivia’s performance at the shortstop position.
“Alivia was always a team player. She put her heart into everything she did and gave her best effort. She consistently asked how she could improve her offensive and defensive skills and made adjustments to suggestions,” Eichler says. “Alivia was dangerous up at bat and played solid defense at shortstop. She was the type of player any coach would want to have on a team. She was a positive role model, team player, and always led by example.”
Alivia has been playing softball on a year-round basis since 7th grade and is always looking to improve her game. Alivia focuses on her approach at the plate and her skills with the glove during practices.
“I try to practice as much as possible. I focus my practices on anything I struggle with, and I also always ask for help on what I should try to better myself on,” Alivia says. “And I was really grateful to be able to build a relationship with Ms. Eichler through softball, since I never had her as a teacher in high school. I appreciate all that she has done for me and everything that she has done for our team. I learned so much from her about the game, and I will miss her next year.”
Alivia is one of seven players who was ready to lead Westbrook as a senior this year. Looking back at her time with the Knights, Alivia says that one of her fondest memories was when Westbrook’s Unified Sports team went to one of the softball squad’s contests last spring.
“My favorite memory from last season is when [assistant] coach [Kara Lesandrine] brought some of her students from Unified Sports down to come and watch and cheer on our game,” says Alivia. “That was an awesome moment.”
Coach Lesandrine spoke highly of the athletes in Westbrook’s senior class. Lesandrine says that Alivia and her fellow seniors set a great example for the club’s younger players.
“The Class of 2020 softball seniors were amazing role models. They worked hard to win, but stayed positive and upbeat when we lost,” says Lesandrine. “Many of them overcame adversity to fight back and play the sport they love. They were a special group, and I will miss them.”
Alivia also played for the Westbrook field hockey team for three seasons. Later this year, she will attend UConn to study speech, language, and hearing sciences. Alivia recently received a nice parting gift for her high school tenure when she was presented with Westbrook’s Faculty Cup.
“Working with and teaching my teammates and the underclassmen helped me grow my leadership skills and make me a more confident leader,” Alivia says. “I loved working with the girls and will miss them so much next year.”