Gabby Boccio needed to get warm.
Not in the sense of throwing in the bullpen before a game, or taking extra swings before stepping into the batter’s box. Physically warm. And the best way the MacArthur outfielder figured she could do that is by keeping her sweatshirt on.
“I’m just always cold,” Boccio said.
But she’s not at the plate. Donning her MacArthur softball sweatshirt, Boccio delivered a two-run single to cap off the host Generals’ four-run first inning in their 9-3 victory Tuesday over neighboring Division in Nassau AB-I softball.
MacArthur (3-0) didn’t need much time to warm up on offense. The Generals scored in four of their six innings, led by Lisa Fabig’s RBI double and two-run single in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, in a game with the feel of more than a regular-season matchup.
“There’s definitely some type of rivalry going on,” said Fabig, who went 2-for-3. “Even the parents, they are going crazy. You can tell by the atmosphere there’s something going on. Two teams from the same town, it’s a big game.”
All nine of MacArthur’s starters reached base safely, with six recording hits. Kayla Myles went 2-for-2 with two walks, Jess Mauro added two hits, including an RBI single in the second, and Boccio had two hits.
“We felt like we had to win,” Myles said. “I’m familiar with a lot of girls on that team, and it’s fun to play against them and it’s a big rivalry in Levittown.”
After the graduation of pitcher Jessica Budrewicz, a three-team Newsday All-Long Island selection, MacArthur coach Bobby Fehrenbach turned to Mauro, a freshman, to take over the primary pitching role. Mauro retired the side in order in six of seven innings and allowed three runs (two earned) and three hits, with no walks and 12 strikeouts.
“She just stepped in here and earned a spot right out the get-go,” Fehrenbach said. “Just the composure she has for a ninth-grader, looking at her, we have confidence.”
Mauro remembers watching Budrewicz pitch. And now it’s her turn.
“It was a little nerve-racking at first, but now, I think I’m getting the hang of it,” Mauro said. “It’s very humbling. I used to come to the MacArthur varsity games and I would watch her, and my dad would be like, ‘You have to do it like that,’ and it’s happening now.”
Division (1-1) scored all of its runs in the fourth, highlighted by Haley Giles’ two-run double, driving in Jordyn Pasqueralli and Alyssa Weinberg.
The Generals lost in the Nassau A semifinals last year after advancing to the state semifinals the previous two seasons. They’re seeking another title with a new group of talent.
“We knew we lost a lot of people and I was excited to see how it would be this year, and it looks pretty good,” Myles said. “We’re rolling so far. I didn’t expect it to be this good at first, but we’re coming out really strong.”