Aubrey Billig and Havi Rubenfeld, puzzle pieces together

Senior softball stars memorable last year

Senior co captains Aubrey Billig and Havi Rubenfeld warm up together in preparation for upcoming softball games.

Aubrey Billig and Havi Rubenfeld have been a part of the Oak Park softball program for all four years, ending their last season being the only seniors left in the program. After being team captains for two years, their goal is to leave the program better and with a stronger foundation than they had when they first started. A goal both girls share is to shape the program so that players who follow in their footsteps can be left with a good starting point.

Anyone who knows about Oak Park softball knows about these two superstars, who have been on varsity all four years. Described by head softball coach, Rob Hall, as “puzzle pieces” to the team, the girls have an unbreakable bond on and off the field after playing with each other for nine years.

“Aubrey and I have been through it all from the beginning together. I haven’t really seen a relationship quite like it,” Rubenfeld said.

Nonetheless, their friendship started long before they first stepped onto the field together.

“We met when we were nine,” Rubenfeld continues. “Half our lives. I’ve been playing with her for half my life.”

Throughout their careers, there have been many hardships. The girls still try to keep their goals high for themselves and their team this season.

“Definitely as a team, we want to compete and do well” Rubenfeld said.

When Billig and Rubenfeld started on the team as freshmen, they looked up to the older girls on the team. Even though the team was left in a bad spot in the past, Billig and Rubenfeld plan to do differently so that the same experience for others does not happen again.

“We also want to grow this program. Because of the past, we want to leave them on the right foot and make sure that they’re headed the right way and not just leave them like how the other seniors have left us,” Billig said.

The team’s past seasons haven’t all been a breeze for the girls and the team itself. The girls’ friendship has kept them going through rough times.

“This year, just like these four years, definitely made this team a family because of the stuff that we went through. But we’ve stayed through everything together,” Rubenfeld said. “We’ve almost started every game of our high school career together, which is really awesome.”

Even Hall talks about their everlasting commitment to the team always keeping hope.

“It hasn’t been the best four years, but they have stuck with the program hoping for a change,” says Hall.

The girls’ determination and commitment has even given them different opportunities in the future for a softball career. Rubenfeld has committed to Denison University to play softball for the school, and Billig will be attending Boise State.

“If my heart is still in softball, I am gonna try to be a walk-on to the team and if not, play club,” Billig said.

Both girls’ passion for softball is so strong that even hard times didn’t affect the way they love the game. Billig and Rubenfeld have kept their team and themselves glued together for a long time. Each girl is a puzzle piece that fits perfectly together, bonded to each other by their love for softball. Hopefully, once the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end, the girls will be able to play again.

“I’m honestly heartbroken that our season ended when it did. We had put in the work in the preseason and were prepared to do some damage in league play,” Rubenfeld said. “I am thankful, though, for the time I did have on the dirt with my team. I’m really treasuring those memories now more than ever.”