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Abby Gambro gets Aurora Central Catholic going

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It took some time, but freshman Abby Gambro has found her spots for Aurora Central Catholic.

The speedster has settled in as the leadoff hitter while usually patrolling left field for the Chargers, although coach Mark Pasqualini confirmed that she can play anywhere in the outfield.

Since Pasqualini moves his players around the field like a chessmaster controlling the action on the board, the younger of two Gambro sisters on the team has become a valuable commodity.

Just like older sister Kate, a junior pitcher, third baseman and outfielder.

“She’s had to earn her spot,” Pasqualini said of Abby. “We began working her in the lineup, and for the last three weeks, she’s been our best hitter. She’s earned it until it changes. I’m proud of her.

“She runs balls down in the outfield. She’s a great athlete, and she’s been our spark plug.”

Abby Gambro provided that spark Wednesday as ACC opened the postseason with a 14-0 win over Regina Dominican in a Class 2A regional semifinal at Aurora University’s Bedrosian Stadium.

Gambro was an instigator to lead the Chargers (23-5), drawing three walks in three innings before finally getting to swing and belting a bases-loaded triple into the right-center gap in the fourth.

“I just wanted to hit,” Gambro said. “I didn’t think she’d walk me again. The pitch was up and outside and I went with it.

“It’s special to do this, playing with my sister.”

ACC's Abby Gambro (8) stands on first during the ACC 2A Regional Semifinal in Aurora on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Mark Black / for the Beacon-News)
Aurora Central Catholic’s Abby Gambro (8) stands on first base against Regina Dominican during a Class 2A Aurora Central Catholic Regional semifinal game at Aurora University’s Bedrosian Stadium on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Mark Black / The Beacon-News)

Sophomore right-hander Corina Miller (11-2) and junior lefty Charlotte Brummel combined to no-hit Regina (7-8-1). Miller struck out seven in three innings. Brummel added a strikeout in two innings.

Second-seeded ACC will play at 5 p.m. Friday for the regional title against third-seeded Richmond-Burton (23-10), which held on for an 8-6 semifinal win over Sandwich (12-13).

Junior catcher Sophia Delgado, meanwhile, also drove in four runs Wednesday for the Chargers. Three came on a two-out pop fly single that fell between three players in short right field.

Having Gambro at the top of the order helps.

“All we need out of that leadoff position is for Abby to get on base and create a little bit of havoc,” Pasqualini said. “That’s all I could ask of her.”

Big sister Kate, who bats second, added two singles. She also scored twice and drove in one run. The Yorkville siblings have played softball together a lot over the years, thanks to Abby playing up.

“Since we were 9, my parents coached a team through 14U,” Kate said of parents Tim and Stephanie. ”My sophomore year was the first time we hadn’t played together.”

ACC's Kate Gambro (1) sprints to first against Regina during the ACC 2A Regional Semifinal in Aurora on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Mark Black / for the Beacon-News)
Aurora Central Catholic’s Kate Gambro (1) watches her hit against Regina Dominican during a Class 2A Aurora Central Catholic Regional semifinal game at Aurora University’s Bedrosian Stadium on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Mark Black / The Beacon-News)

Last summer, the 5-foot-4 Kate and 5-6 Abby played on different travel softball teams. This summer, Abby will forego travel softball to concentrate on the sisters’ other sport, volleyball.

“She’s really good at volleyball,” Kate said of Abby, who plays middle hitter. “She’s got a really good vertical. I still play volleyball for the school.”

Kate, who shares pitching duties with Miller and Brummel, played third base on varsity as a freshman before moving to center field as a sophomore and back to third this season.

“It’s the whole move all the pieces on the chess board around,” said Pasqualini, who has been impressed by the younger Gambro’s approach at the plate. “She’s had three triples lately. She works the count. When she gets ahead and gets a pitch she can handle, she’s off to the races.”

The younger Gambro doesn’t pitch, however.

“I just never really had an interest in it,” she said. “I caught a lot of (Kate’s) pitching lessons, though.”

ACC's Abby Gambro (8) hits a triple against Regina during the ACC 2A Regional Semifinal in Aurora on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Mark Black / for the Beacon-News)
Aurora Central Catholic’s Abby Gambro (8) sprints to first base against Regina Dominican during a Class 2A Aurora Central Catholic Regional semifinal game at Aurora University’s Bedrosian Stadium on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Mark Black / The Beacon-News)

Little sister may be a little stronger too, according to Kate.

“It’s been fun watching the two of them together,” Pasqualini said. “They complement each other and have played together their whole lives. I have three brothers, fought with them my whole life.

“I’ve been waiting for these girls to argue with each other, but they get along great.”

Kate Gambro had to laugh.

“He just doesn’t see it,” she said. ”But we do have fun playing together.”



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