Porter Ridge pitcher Davis was nearly unhittable this season
by Aaron Garcia
Lexi Davis has a complicated way of describing herself on the pitcher’s mound. “Control-freak leader” is the exact term, which is probably a good thing for her Porter Ridge High School softball teammates, considering the fact that, as the team’s pitcher, the rising senior has the ball in her hands more than anyone else on the diamond.
“I’ve always been one to take matters into my own hands and lead by example,” Davis explained. “Being able to take control of a game and make your presence known and help the team out has been a good feeling for me.”
This season, Davis must have been ecstatic as she was one of the most dominating pitchers in the state. In a county filled with top hurlers, such as Marvin Ridge’s Caitlyn Kurtz, Cuthbertson’s Mel Recher and Metrolina Christian’s Mallory Broome, Davis rose to the top this spring, guiding the Pirates to a 24-2 overall record. Porter Ridge’s only two losses came to Charlotte Ardrey Kell and eventual Class 4A state champion Alexander Central. Along the way, Davis amassed a 24-2 record with 218 strikeouts and a 0.45 ERA, making her Union County Weekly’s 2011 Softball Player of the Year.
Davis was also effective offensively; she batted in the low .400s with a pair of home runs and 24 RBIs.
Pirates coach Lael Rorie said Davis, who committed to play at Auburn University when she was just a sophomore, has gotten physically stronger since last year, when she recorded a 19-3 record with 215 strikeouts. But Rorie also was impressed with how Davis dealt with the heightened expectations that come with being a Southeastern Conference recruit.
“It’s a lot harder to do, especially when you have all that attention at such a young age,” Rorie explained. “I think a lot of people were kind of doubting (whether she was that good), but she’s proved herself to be very talented.”
But Davis said she didn’t have to just prove her worth as a major-college recruit to others – she felt she had to prove it to herself as well, which served as perhaps the season’s greatest motivator.
“I think being so close to college and being so close to getting to Auburn, it’s helped me realize I really have to show dominance on the mound,” she said. “I think I’ve always had a target on my back since I started as a freshman, but I’ve used that to get better.”
With one season remaining in a Pirates uniform, Davis’ final goal as a high school player is to earn a state title, a feat Porter Ridge came just two rounds short of this season. Though it was the best season in Porter Ridge history, Davis said she and her teammates still have something to prove, which is a task she’s more than happy to handle.
“I love to carry the pressure – it’s what I do,” she said. “For me, it’s just another job, and it’s one I love doing.”