Trib HSSN softball player of the week for May 8, 2023

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Tuesday, May 9, 2023 | 12:25 AM


Seneca Valley sophomore Lexie Hames doesn’t have a driver’s license yet. She will seek her permit later this month.

While she may not be driving on the road yet, the standout softball pitcher is very driven on the diamond.

Hames is following up a fabulous freshman debut in which she helped the Raiders win a WPIAL championship and runner-up silver in the PIAA postseason with a sensational sophomore season.

“There’s always satisfaction in success throughout the season,” Hames said. “I think every game there’s hunger, there’s energy to attack that next team and get that next win. Going on for the rest of this season, I would say the team is not satisfied yet until we get back to that state championship.

“Obviously we’re hungry to be back after getting that silver. Great success, and I’m not downplaying it, but we’re hungry for that gold.”

Seneca Valley is in first place in 6A coming into the final week of the regular season with a section record of 13-1 and an overall mark of 14-1.

Last week, the Raiders had to face two teams that are fighting for a playoff spot in 6A in Mt. Lebanon and Canon-McMillan.

On Thursday, Hames admits she didn’t have her best game in a 5-2 win over the Blue Devils.

She allowed one earned run on two hits with four walks and 19 strikeouts.

“Her ability to work through adversity really stood out,” Seneca Valley coach (and Lexie’s mom) Marleese Hames said. “She actually tore about half of her nail off on her spin finger on her pitching hand in the first inning. It was really sore, but she was able to continue to work up spin and paint the corners with her fastball.”

The next day against Canon-McMillan, Hames allowed no earned runs and one hit with no walks and 13 strikeouts in a 5-1 victory.

“She was efficient with strikes and kept her pitch count down,” Marleese Hames said. “She needed to create fly balls and groundouts for her defense. She threw 120 pitches the day before and only 83 against Canon-Mac.”

For the season, Lexie Hames has a 13-1 record with a mind-boggling 0.39 ERA with 29 walks and 204 strikeouts in 90 innings pitched.

“Lexie worked in the offseason with a trainer on explosion and core,” Marleese Hames said. “In addition, she learned her freshman year that she needed to create more spin on the ball. Our section has phenomenal hitters and they would catch the speed.

“She worked with her pitching coach to create more movement in addition to adding more speed. She has become a smarter pitcher learning about opponents, where to locate pitches and getting ahead in the count. She has learned to create fly balls and ground balls for her defense and avoid the line drives.”

Lexie Hames doesn’t get a chance to swing the bat that often. She does have a .333 batting average; however, in 50 plate appearances, she only has 21 official at-bats because opponents do not want to pitch to her. She has seven hits, four of them home runs. She has been walked 27 times, most of them intentionally.

While it might not be fun for Seneca Valley opponents when Hames come to the plate or is set to throw in the circle, fun is something Hames and her Raiders teammates try to have.

“We’re just trying to have fun out there,” she said. “There are always goals out there, but I try having fun with my team. I’m just trying to enjoy it before I hit my senior year. I love every second out there with my team. I’m just along for the ride with my team.”

Trib HSSN Softball Players of the Week:

Week 5 – Caroline Malandra, Serra Catholic

Week 4 Shelby Telegdy , Elizabeth Forward

Week 3 – Ella Richey, Chartiers-Houston

Week 2 – Shaylyn Shall, Western Beaver

Week 1 – Olivia Zimmerman, Indiana

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