Above: Ava Fairbanks connects with the ball. Photos by Chuck Nadeau; find all his photos at chuckn.com.
The weather is typical for April. On this day it was windy and cool. No, make that cold. The Avengers didn’t feel a thing. They came with their bats working. In the end, it showed with an impressive 10 to 4 win over a battling West Warwick team.
The battle mostly was with the wind that steered up some ‘dust devils’ in the infield. It didn’t make sliding into a base easy either. One Avenger had to be dug out after a long slide into third.
With the win, the team improved to a 7-2 record.
“Ava Fairbanks has been very consistent for us on the mound,” said Asst. Coach Karen Lockhart, “and we have a strong defense backing her up. We have been able to rely on her pitching the first nine games and we trust the team behind her as well.”
Last year was a struggle, but Lockhart said things are different this year.
“At the plate, we have really turned things around this season, with key contributions coming from everyone in our lineup. Freshman catcher Brooke Fairbanks and sophomore shortstop Margaret Neville have had some clutch moments, but honestly everyone is coming to hit and play. Sophomores Sam Lombardi (third base) and Teaghan Bristol (outfield) are also consistently hitting well for us.”
It’s worth noting that catcher Brooke and pitcher Ava Fairbanks are sisters.
Lockhart gave credit to the team’s three captains – Gianna Musella, Abby Clarke, and Emily Russell – too.
“They have been key contributors from the leadership side of things – they are encouraging, inclusive, and help our team bring a strong balance of goofiness and competitiveness – which is exactly what the memory of Olivia tries to honor,” said Lockhard, referring to Olivia Passaretti, who was killed after her car was hit Jan. 1.
Both teams were cheered on by a respectful crowd in East Greenwich. It’s not the nicest field in the state, but the people love to bring their lawn chairs and coolers to watch and cheer on their team.