By Mark Ambrogi
Center Grove High School coach Alyssa Coleman describes senior Lex Warner as irreplaceable.
“She brings a competitive edge to everything she does due to her huge softball IQ,” Coleman said. “She swings one of the heaviest hitting bats I have ever seen. When she connects with a ball, I would not want to be on the other side. As a teammate, she strives to keep her teammates accountable and lead with her work ethic. Her career speaks for herself; she is plain and simple a gamer. She makes a difference in every game with or without the ball.”
Warner, who has been starting since her freshman year, was hitting .435 with six doubles, three homers and 27 runs batted in as of May 16.
Warner bats fourth in the lineup and said she has made the most improvement in hitting to move runners.
“I feel like I’ve done a better job of putting the ball in play in general and putting it where it needs to be,” she said. “I’m hitting for the person after me instead of just myself.”
Coleman said she has become consistent with a higher on-base percentage. Her on-base percentage has increased from .374 as a freshman to .482 as a junior to .506 this season.
“When runners are in scoring position, I want her up to bat,” Coleman said. “She has nurtured a shoulder injury, and while she has always played third for us in past, she is naturally a first baseman. She is willing to do whatever the team needs, her biggest strength as a player.”
Warner is comfortable at both first and third base.
“I enjoy third the most because I definitely get more action over there,” she said. “But I enjoy both positions.”
Warner hit .344 with nine home runs as a freshman for the Trojans, who captured the Class 4A state championship. After the 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Warner hit .427 with three homers last season.
“As a freshman I was on fire and hitting home runs, and then I would have a four- or five-game streak where I would just get one hit,” Warner said. “I wasn’t producing like I knew I could. I worked on hitting through the ball. I worked on getting good solid contact rather than hitting over (the fence). If I get a home run, that’s great, but that’s not really what I’m chasing.”
The Trojans, who begin sectional play May 23 against Mooresville, upset then-Class 4A No. 2 Whiteland 1-0 in the Johnson County tournament.
“We’re so talented,” Warner said. “We just have to be there for one another and not so much for ourselves. I feel like we are finding ourselves and finding our way to that.”
Warner started playing softball when she was 6 years old and travel softball when she was 8 years old. Warner played basketball until seventh grade before her decision to concentrate on softball.
THE WARNER FILE
POSITIONS: Third base and first base
COLLEGE PLANS: Attending IUPUI to study biology. Plans to become an anesthesiologist.
HOBBIES: Fishing and hunting. Played club softball for Indiana Gators Elite.
FAVORITE ATHLETE: Freddie Freeman
FAVORITE TV SHOW: “Grey’s Anatomy”
FAVORITE SUBJECT: Psychology
FAVORITE MUSICIAN: Morgan Wallen
PARENTS’ NAMES: Jimmy Warner and Kelly Glass