Kimberly Westenberg of Massapequa connects for a solo home run to...

Kimberly Westenberg of Massapequa connects for a solo home run to break a scoreless tie in the top of the second inning of a Nassau AA-I softball game against host Farmingdale on Friday. Credit: James Escher

What will Kim Westenberg do for an encore?

The Massapequa freshman has been looking forward to her first varsity game since the first time she picked up a bat. And even she couldn’t have pictured getting off to a better start.

In her first varsity at-bat, Westenberg launched a solo home run, easily clearing the fence in leftfield, to leadoff the second inning. She followed it with an RBI double off the fence in the third inning, driving in both of the Chiefs' runs in a 2-0 win over host Farmingdale in their season-opening Nassau AA-I softball contest on Friday.

“It’s very special,” she said. “It’s just a great way to start the season and it shows off the hard work I’ve put into it.”

Westenberg, who finished the game 3-for-3 and a triple shy of the cycle, said the start to her varsity tenure helps with her confidence and feeling of belonging, along with reinforcing what she can do on the field.

And to her teammates, Friday’s results were no surprise.

“That’s pretty amazing,” said senior Julia Gibbons, who added three hits and scored on Westenberg’s double. “[The homer] was a far shot. Every day at practice, all the scrimmages, she’s been hitting them pretty far, so when she got up there, some kids were like ‘I think she’s going to hit it over,’ and she did.”

Massapequa, which lost to Farmingdale in a Nassau AA quarterfinal last year, has been looking forward to the start of this season since walking off the field for the final time last spring. And seeing an opening matchup with the Dalers just added to that excitement.

“For the first time out there, I honestly didn’t know what to expect,” said Julia Ruocchio, who tossed a two-hitter with three walks and five strikeouts. “I was just locked in all day at school and I was ready to go. I missed it a lot. I couldn’t wait to get back.”

“She was pumped for it,” coach Christina Castellani said. “A little redemption from last year. It was a tough loss in the postseason for us, so we had something to prove and she was the one in the circle to help us out with that.”

Laura Dentato had both hits for the Dalers. Seven of nine starters got at least one of the Chiefs' 11 hits, led by Westenberg, who looks to continue to prove she’s ready for varsity.

“It helps to just show that I can do it if I put the effort into it,” she said. “It helps just to reinforce what I can do.”

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