Hauppauge catcher Stefania Abruscato looks to add to her impressive resume this season, NewsdayTV Matt Lindsay reports. Credit: Barry Sloan

Stefania Abruscato is bringing a national pedigree to the plate this season.

After dazzling in tryouts in Texas last November, Hauppauge’s senior catcher was selected to play for the Junior Women's National Team this upcoming summer. Abruscato was named a Top Performer of the 2022 USA Softball High Performance Program National Selection Event.

“I’ve always wanted to represent my country,” Abruscato said. “It gets me so excited to wear the red, white and blue.”

Playing for Team USA comes with lofty expectations, but the University of Missouri commit is used to the pressure and attention.

“You would never know that she’s this big-time prospect or the superstar that everybody knows,” coach Eric Ericksen said. “She’s very humble. She doesn’t really talk about herself.”

Softball runs in Abruscato’s blood. Her older sister, Giuliana, plays at UConn. Her younger sister, Crisalyn, is a freshman on Hauppauge’s varsity team. Her father, Tom, is the longtime varsity baseball coach at Clarke.

“I’ve always looked up to my older sister. We both started with baseball, which we got from my Dad. Their input has meant everything to me,” Abruscato said. “Now I get to pass it along to my little sister. I love playing with her, it’s like having my best friend on the team.”

Abruscato was named the Suffolk County Small Schools Player of the Year as a junior. She batted .627 with a 2.027 OPS, six home runs, 35 RBIs and scored 32 runs.

Unfortunately for opposing pitchers, she’s not satisfied.

“I definitely want to hit 10 home runs this year and end up on top of the home run leaderboard,” Abruscato said. “Going for Gatorade Player of the Year is one of my main personal goals.”

She’s also looking to translate her individual achievements into more team success. In the double-elimination playoffs last season, Hauppauge won its first game, 4-3, over Shoreham-Wading River in which Abruscato hit a home run with three RBIs and a stolen base.

The Eagles then fell to top-seeded and eventual Suffolk Class A champion East Islip before being eliminated by Westhampton to end the season with an 11-9 record.

“I think it’s on me to lead the team,” Abruscato said. “Doing extra drills and teaching them everything that I know so we can all come together as a team and play well is my main focus.”

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