Athlete of the Week: Lexi Kilfoyl

By Rishi Barran, Spectrum Sports
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Lexi Kilfoyl spent her summer turning heads, pitching unbelievably well for a pair of elite softball travel teams.

Members of the Junior Olympic committee took notice when the Academy at the Lakes sophomore pitched 14 strong innings in one day into the championship game in one top tier tournament.

That lasting impression heared her an incredible opportunity: the chance to play for the USA Softball Junior Women's National Team.

Kilfoyl has been the star pitcher for her high school since she was in the seventh grade, so she's used to being one of the younger players on the team.

Now she'll be the youngest member of the national squad.

“I was actually told before that that I was too young to try out,” Kilfoyl said.  “But then I got the email and was like, I was actually confused because I thought it was wrong.  But it was actually right.”

The 4.0 student and University of Alabama commit will join 23 other college stars and high school phenoms to face international competition over the summer.

One of the events will be the WBSC World Softball Championships, which will be held in Clearwater from July 24-30.

“I’m just looking forward to making new friends and everything, and just playing at that high level so I can prepare myself for college,” Kilfoyl said.

Lexi's new high school coach, Diane Stephenson, was the head coach at the University of Indiana for two decades.

Stephenson says Gilfoyl is one of the best players she's ever coached, and feels the talented sophomore could be a future Olympian.

“Just from talking to her, you’d never know what a fierce competitor she is.  And like she steps in the circle and just becomes a different woman.”

Kilfoyl gained that competitive edge in a household full of athletes.

Her brothers are outstanding baseball players.

Interestingly enough, however, Lexi's parents believe part of her success on the mound comes from a much different place: Lexi's time as a ballerina.

“To this day, her mom thinks that has a lot to do with her footwork and how she has progressed as a pitcher," Lexi's father, Homer, said.

If she keeps that progress going, Lexi could tip-toe her way into an Olympic opening ceremony one day.