2012 SOFTBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Lexi’s Lasting Legacy

Porter Ridge pitcher cemented her place in Union County history

by Aaron Garcia

Porter Ridge’s Lexi Davis: Union County Weekly’s 2012 Softball Player of the Year. Aaron Garcia/UCW photo

It’s not often that an athlete’s lifetime of hard work and determination culminates in a single moment, but for Lexi Davis, that’s exactly what happened. When the Porter Ridge senior’s final pitch of the Class 4A state championship series hit catcher Courtney Price’s glove to record the third and final out, Davis’ years of sweat equity and globetrotting dedication to the sport paid off. It was the moment Davis had been waiting for, she said. It was the moment that made all the sacrifices and hot summer workouts worthwhile.

“I’ve put so much into this field, and knowing I did everything I could to accomplish that one single goal, that was so huge,” said Davis. “When I saw that girl swing and miss the ball, I just wanted to jump for joy.”

Davis, who was the 2010 and 2011 Union County Weekly Softball Player of the Year, saved her best season for last. At the plate, Davis was again one of the best offensive weapons in the county with a .450 batting average and team highs in home runs (eight), RBIs (42) and doubles (11) while finishing with 44 hits. But it was her job in the pitcher’s circle that truly set Davis apart. She recorded a 33-1 record with 279 strikeouts on the year and allowed a paltry seven earned runs for an ERA of 0.235.

As a result, Davis earned her third consecutive Union County Weekly Player of the Year award.

She also took home the coveted N.C. Gatorade Softball Player of the Year award. For Davis, who will join the softball program at Auburn University next season, the 2012 season was an exercise in steely-eyed focus, especially while playing with the label of one of the state’s top players on one of the nation’s best teams. The Pirates finished the season ranked second in ESPN’s Fab 50 softball poll.

“You have to be poised and controlled and understand what it takes mentally,” said Davis. “I think I’ve had to learn how to deal with that, but having the team behind me that I did helped me to deal with all of that.

“It was stressful, but it’s something I embrace and love.”

Because of that, there was really no other way Davis’ high school career could’ve ended.

“When you’ve worked so hard at something for so long, there is no other option but to get it,” said Davis.

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