There’s no doubt that Hauppauge’s Stefania Abruscato is one of the most talented softball players on Long Island.
The Eagles sophomore catcher, who’s already committed to play softball at the University of Missouri, put all her skills on display Wednesday as host Hauppauge blanked Eastport-South Manor, 7-0, in a Suffolk IV game at Bill Link Field.
Abruscato was 2-for-2 with a walk, double, home run, two RBIs and three runs scored. She’s now hitting .750 with three homers, 10 runs scored and nine RBIs.
She did not allow a stolen base, a passed ball or wild pitch, and also made a spectacular diving catch of a foul pop between the plate and first base in the second inning.
"She’s unbelievable," Eagles coach Eric Ericksen said. "That was a great diving catch, but that’s the Fania we see every day: Blocking balls behind the plate, getting dirty. She’s just a heads-up player."
Abruscato almost made another great play to end the game, but third baseman Megan Mitola came up with a thrilling, sliding catch in foul ground. (It was probably the only play Abruscato didn’t make all afternoon.)
By the way, Ericksen allows his talented backstop to call her own game, a rarity in softball. She was never shaken off by winning pitcher Sam Fehrenbach (7 strikeouts) who scattered seven hits against Eastport-South Manor (2-2).
"I trust Fania with everything," he said. "She’s been around the game for so long, she knows so much about hitters and their tendencies and where to pitc them."
Abruscato, who is called "Fania" by family, friends, and teammates, also knows how to hit them. She smashed a double to left field to put runners on second and third in the first inning. Loriann Connolly (2-for-3) then singled in two runs to open the scoring for Hauppauge (3-1).
Abruscato scored from third base off a wild pitch with a great slide to highlight a two-run third inning. Finally, Abruscato capped a three-run fourth with a two-run blast over the right-centerfield fence.
"It was a fastball inside, and I was ready for it," said Abruscato, who has walked eight times in the last three games. "When you hit one like that, you don’t feel anything."