Windermere High School junior and softball right-handed pitcher Lexi King announced recently her verbal commitment to the University of Arkansas. Besides playing for the Wolverines, King also plays with the Tampa Mustangs Seymour travel team.
Tell us about your years as an athlete.
I actually have always been a pitcher, and I kind of just fell in love with it recently. I used to hit, but now, I’m just a pitcher. … I pitch with my dad almost every day. I started in fourth grade in Little League, and I just liked it a lot better than all the other sports. … I just started to get more competitive and then just started to test myself and see how hard I could push myself.
How do you feel after having made a verbal commitment with the University of Arkansas?
On my official visit, I just kind of fell in love with the town and the coaches and the teammates, and it was just a super welcoming atmosphere, and it felt like family.
Was this the school you were envisioning prior to receiving their offer?
At the beginning, I didn’t know much about it, because I didn’t know anyone that goes to Arkansas. But then on Sept. 1, they showed interest in me, and then I took the visit and fell in love with it.
How did you get into softball?
My cousin (Jessica Shults) actually played for the University of Oklahoma, and she won two national championships there, so we thought there would be softball in the bloodline. She was a catcher for the world series game.
What is your favorite aspect about softball?
I just really like the family atmosphere and always being able to count on your teammates to have your back. I really like the competition and just always competing with each batter. It’s always a different game; it’s never the same.
Why did you decide not to hit anymore?
I still do it for fun, but it was more kind of an injury (type of thing). I didn’t want to get hurt. … I’d always get hit if I was in the box, so I had really bad luck.
What’s your favorite pitch to throw? Why?
The drop ball. I never used to like (it), but one day, it just clicked. I was like, ‘Oh this can be one of my greatest tools.’ So I started to throw it more and more and see how competitive I could get with the pitch, and it really started to just define me as a pitcher. I really got to utilize it, and I’m still playing around with it to this day.
What do you believe softball has taught you — not only on the field but off the field, as well?
It’s taught me to never give up and that you are going to have some bad days. But you just have to shake it off and just keep pursuing. It’s taught me that I’m not always going to be perfect and that it is OK to mess up and just reset and keep playing like you can (play).
What’s your favorite hobby?
Probably wake surfing. My family is big on the lake, so we all like to wake surf. I also like to play with my dog; I just got a new puppy. We named him Razor, because (Arkansas’ mascot is the) Razorback. He’s a golden retriever. We also have another golden retriever; his name is Buddy, and he’s 4 years old.
Who is your favorite superhero? Why?
Probably Spider-Man, because I like the movies, and the ride at Universal is good.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
Probably to fly, because I feel like just to be able to defy gravity would be cool.
Any secret talents you have you’d like to share with us?
I can juggle. I can also do the worm. Me and my dad can do it; we do it together.
What are three places you would like to visit? Why?
Costa Rica, Mexico and probably Greece.
What are three things you would bring with you to a deserted island?
I would probably bring food, maybe my dogs and a pillow.
If you could be any animal for a day, which one would it be and why?
I’d want to be a golden retriever, because I think dogs are the best animal. I would love to see what they do for a day and get loved on by everyone.
What are three things on your bucket list?
I want to go skydiving, I want to go to a Braves World Series game, and I want to go to the world series in college.