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East County Athlete of the Week: Lexi Meneely

The Lakewood Ranch High softball junior helped her team to a district championship May 2 with her pitching and hitting..

Lakewood Ranch High junior pitcher Lexi Meneely had a 1.08 ERA in four postseason games.
Lakewood Ranch High junior pitcher Lexi Meneely had a 1.08 ERA in four postseason games.
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Lexi Meneely is a junior pitcher/utility player on the Lakewood Ranch High softball team. Meneely pitched a complete game in the Mustangs’ 4-3 district championship win over Venice High on May 2, allowing three runs (zero earned runs) on five hits and three walks with one strikeout. Meneely also went 2-4 with three RBIs as a hitter. The Mustangs (6-20) will play Windermere High (20-4) at 4:30 p.m. May 9 on the road in the regional quarterfinals. 

When did you start playing softball?

I started when I was 4 years old. My mom (Jessica Dimon) played softball her whole life, and she wanted to see if I liked it too. I kept playing from there. 

What is the appeal to you?

My real drive for it comes from the friendships that I have made throughout high school because of it. Also, the competing part of it. Before districts (this year), we were not having the best season, but we have started to play for each other. That’s one of the things I love most about softball. It’s a team sport. It’s not about me as an individual. 

What changed for your team in the district tournament?

I think the biggest thing was that we knew we had nothing to lose. Absolutely nothing. Having the mindset of going out there and playing, no matter what the outcome may be, helped us focus on trying our best. In the Venice game, we were not winning the whole game. We had to figure out how to come out with the win in the end. It felt good. 

What did the win do for the team going forward?

I think we are all just happy to be here, happy to keep playing. It gave us an extra boost. At the beginning of the season, we didn’t think this would be the outcome, but it worked out. 

Do you prefer pitching or playing the field?

I love pitching. I like the control factor. Having the pressure on you is a lot, but I love it because it helps me focus. That’s when I feel most comfortable. 

What is your best pitch?

My favorite is my changeup. We don’t throw it a ton, only when we need to use it. When we do use it, it shocks people. 

What have you been working to improve?

The spin and location of my pitches. I feel like before the district tournament, I didn’t have my best games. But during districts, I focused more on spinning (the ball) and trusting in that. I think it ended up working in my favor. It makes me want to continue to work on it and get better. 

What is your favorite memory?

I have two: Winning the state championship my freshman year and winning districts this year. I feel like they were just as memorable for me. 

What is your favorite food?

I love strawberries. 

What is your favorite movie?

It’s probably "Top Gun: Maverick."

What is your favorite school subject?

I like anatomy and physiology. They’re relatable to real life. Everything else kind of bores me. (Laughs.) But anatomy and physiology, I can actually use those, so I’m interested in that. 

What are your hobbies?

I like to go to the beach and watch the sunset. I like watching from Anna Maria Island. 

What is the best advice you have received?

Never give up. That’s the biggest thing. The game is full of failure. That’s the point of it: You have to figure out ways to move forward. I think (realizing) that is what has helped me most in my career.

Finish this sentence: “Lexi Meneely is …”

Unique. I don’t think I’m like other people. (Laughs.) 



Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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