EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — This week’s Cardi’s Furniture & Mattresses Hometown Sports Hero is Ava Fairbanks.

The East Greenwich Junior has run up a 20-1 record with a 0.42 ERA on the mound, while also hitting .527 at the plate, helping the Avengers clinch the top spot in D-II Softball and their first playoff win.

“She’s cool, she’s calm, she’s collected. Nothing really rattles her and that’s the important part,” said Avenger Head Coach Rob Petrucci. “Especially when you are in the circle. If you can keep yourself together, you can pick up a team and carry them on your back. And we pick her up when runners get on. We really function as a team.”

Being front and center in the circle is what drew her to pitching.

“I mean I kind of like all the attention honestly,” Fairbanks said. “I like it when all the eyes are on me, because I know it’s a good motivator, when everyone’s watching. I just have to do my best.”

Ava is hoping her work on the mound can help carry the Avengers to their first State Title since 2014, then she’ll turn her focus to her travel season with her Bombers Elite Team. It’s a pivotal Summer as she tries to settle her college future. 

“It’s a very complex process,” Fairbanks said. “You have to email, you have to talk to the coaches, you have to visit the coaches, see which schools you like, which ones you don’t, and it all comes down to basically what you want outside of softball,” Fairbanks said. “What you want in a school, outside of softball and then softball is just the fun part that comes along with it.”

“I think the future is limitless for her,” Petrucci said. “Wherever she wants to go, I’m sure colleges will be looking at her and seeing what she can provide for them at the next level. And she will get to the next level. She’s a five-tool player. She can literally do it all. She hits, she runs, she throws, she pitches, she catches. She does it all.”

If you have a Hometown Sports Hero you’d like to nominate, email sports@wpri.com.