WRALL softball player doing well despite adversity

awoolen@macon.comApril 3, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- Avery Smith is a quiet, shy third-grader.

When she was asked to throw out the first pitch for softball to open the Warner Robins American Little League 2013 season, she didn’t realize what that meant.

“She told me, ‘Daddy, I didn’t know that many people were going to be here,’’’ said her father, Jason Smith.

Jason Smith is the athletic director at Feagin Mill Middle School.

Avery used to take gymnastics, but her mother, Amy Smith, a Houston County Board of Education psychologist, said it is just too much for the family.

Avery has two younger brothers, Braydon, 5, and Colton, 2.

Amy Smith has stage 4 cancer, and it causes her to tire easily.

With the softball schedule, she couldn’t continue the gymnastics for Avery.

She has chemotherapy every two weeks, but she hasn’t mentioned the word cancer to her children.

Amy Smith has missed only one game so far this season.

The just-turned 9-year-old has been playing ball since she was 6.

She plays travel ball on the weekend with her WRALL C-ball Heat coach Kris Gibson, whom she has had as a coach since Rookie ball.

“From day one until now, there is just a world of improvement,” said Gibson about Avery’s talent.

He said she can play pretty much anywhere but mostly she is in the infield.

Avery’s favorite position is to play pitcher.

“She’s a really good kid,” Gibson said.

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