Defying the Odds: Abbi Flowers, deaf softball player, plays with Ward 10 Ponytails in Dixie League World Series
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The Dixie League World Series, where softball players from all different states come together to compete in the sport they love.
Most of the players on each team have played on the diamond since they were little.
“She started playing softball, I think about the age of four,” said Misty Flowers, Ward 10 Ponytails player, Abbi Flowers, mom. “When we moved to Tioga, on that side of the river, softball season came, and there was a paper in her backpack. She said, ‘Mom, I want to play, sign me up and it was for Dixie.”
Abbi Flowers is one of many key players on the Ward 10 Ponytails softball team, on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, as she plays second base and bats third.
“One of my biggest challenges have been learning how to field the ball,” Abbi signed. “I’ve worked on hitting and now, I just need to field the ball. I think because I am deaf, I can’t hear when the ball actually hits the bat like other girls can, so it makes my reaction time a little different, that has been challenging.”
Abbi was born without her cochlear and auditory nerves, which at times can make playing the game a little more difficult.
Even though Abbi is not able to hear the sounds from within the diamond or what goes on in the dugout, it does not stop her from doing anything her teammates are able to do.
“I always have it in the back of my mind that the outside world is looking in wondering how she is doing this,” said Misty. “Can she really play softball? I mean she is deaf. As her mom and biggest fan, I want people to see Abbi how she is.”
Since being on the Dixie travel team and Ward 10 team, Abbi has become an inspiration to not only her mom but her teammates, as they have taken it upon themselves to learn sign language to be able to communicate with her.
“They give me signs, so I know to be ready for a steal, or hit or back up second,” signed Abbi. “They also tell me sign where the play is going, to be ready to back up first, back up the pitcher and what to do.”
“The team has learned the basics a little bit to show her what play will be next,” said Misty.
No matter what is thrown Abbi’s way, whether it is in her daily life or at the plate, she is not going to let anything or anyone stop her from doing what she loves.
“I don’t care if people judge me or talk about me,” signed Abbi. “I love softball. I love being deaf. It does not matter if I can hear or not, I am going to continue to do what I want and what I love.”
Abbi will be going into the 7th grade this upcoming school year and will attend Tioga Junior High School.
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