Christie Lombardi is a catcher with a hamstring strain.
That means all of her repeated movements on the diamond — squatting, leaping and shuffling laterally — meet her with varying degrees of pain.
Section 1 pitchers are probably none the wiser considering this week’s Con Edison Athlete of the Week has a .721 season average for Fox Lane.
“Christie has 43 RBI this year, and she’s missed three games,” Fox Lane coach Anthony Rodrigues said. “No one knows that she’s hurt, and she’s hurt pretty badly. She probably shouldn’t even be playing, and she’s smashing the ball.”
Lombardi rested for a week as a precaution earlier this season but has continued to add to her four-year varsity numbers, which include 17 homers, 126 RBI and 112 runs scored.
“She’s the best player I’ve coached, by far, and I’ve coached kids that have been drafted out of high school for baseball,” Rodrigues said.
Lombardi drew interest from Cornell and several Division III programs, but made the decision to walk on at the University of Virginia.
“If she wants to play (at Virginia), she will play,” Rodrigues said. “She hits, she runs the bases, and behind the plate she is phenomenal. She calls every pitch of every game and throws from her knees. No one tries to steal on her.”
Lombardi is enrolled in the Arts and Sciences program at Virginia and plans to apply to the McIntire School of Commerce after her sophomore year.
If her high school academic achievements are any indication, including a 2130 SAT score and a 95.02 overall average, Lombardi’s future off the diamond is equally bright.
“It’s been a great year and I didn’t get senioritis,” said Lombardi, who serves as president of the Photo Club at Fox Lane. “I took a lot of (advanced-placement) classes, but those just wrapped up with my exams, so I can finally have a break.”
Talented freshman pitcher Alexis Bazos has benefitted from working with Lombardi, who provides constant ideas and recommendations about her performances.
“When we step on the field, we know that we are working together and holding the team in place,” Bazos said. “I know if anything goes wrong, I can look to her and she will have great advice. It’s nice to have someone leading you.”
Also a member of the varsity basketball team, Lombardi spent Saturday mornings during the winter contributing to the Fox Lane basketball youth clinic.
“We’ve hosted clinics with girls ages 6 through 14,” Lombardi said. “We keep stats for them during (scrimmages) and work with them on drills.”