A senior shortstop and second-year captain of the Shipley softball team, Lexi Wojtelwicz enjoyed a stellar junior campaign last spring, batting .405 with 15 hits, 19 runs scored, 11 RBI’s and a .649 slugging percentage. She received first team All-Friends’ Schools League honors as well as first team All-Main Line softball selection, as she played a key role in the Gators advancing to the FSL championship final. Off the field, she has been president of her class at Shipley, both as a junior and senior. Shipley softball head coach Maria DiBernardi said, “Lexi is a very unique young lady. I have coached hundreds of athletes over the years and Lexi by far ranks up there as one of the most special kids I have had the honor to coach. The energy and excitement she exudes, not only for softball, but for life in general, is contagious. When you are around her she just makes you feel good! She is a born leader and the passion she brings to every practice and game inspire others to give their best every day.”
Q: What do you think has been the most important thing you’ve learned recently regarding hitting?
A: I am a big overthinker, but as soon as I step into the box I know I need to focus on one or two specific parts of my swing in order to be successful. Going into the batter’s box with a cluttered mind and too much to work on will just distract me from the pitch, but if I go in and think about one thing to do correctly while watching the ball, it helps me stay calm and put the bat to the ball.
Q: What were you hoping to achieve this spring?
A: This spring was going to be a huge season for Shipley softball. My freshman year we had a really strong team. I got to play alongside key senior returners, some of whom went on to play in college both at the varsity and club level. This year, I had even more confidence in my team that we would take home the Friends’ Schools League title. Only losing one player [to graduation] and bringing in new talent, our team was strong on and off the field. I was ready to take on the whole Friends’ League with my team with confidence!
Q: What aspect of your game did you work on the most in the off-season?
A: Fielding has always come very naturally to me, as it is my favorite part of the game, but I am always looking to get reps in and improve. I am constantly working on my swing and staying balanced.
Q: What are your thoughts about the cancellation of the spring softball season because of the coronavirus situation?
A: All of my fellow senior spring athletes and I are devastated. We were so excited for our last season of high school sports and kept faith that school would reopen towards the end of the year to get some playing time in. It is very sad to lose important moments such as spring trips, senior days, and your last championship game. I am very fortunate, though, that we were able to sneak one game in this year against Academy of Notre Dame.
Q: Prior to the cancellation, how did you view your leadership role on the team as a senior captain?
A: I was very excited to return as captain again this year, being co-captain with my best friend and fellow senior, Liv Hamilton. The best part about our team is how much we get along. Liv and I made it our priority to sit down and check in with the whole team while stretching before each practice to see how everyone is doing mentally and physically.
Q: Tell us a little about your start in competitive softball. Have you always been a shortstop? Who have been your biggest softball mentors, and what was the most important thing each of them taught you about softball?
A: I have been playing for as long as I can remember, starting in tee-ball and then switching to softball. I owe this to my dad, who has been a huge influence and inspiration in my softball career. He played baseball at the collegiate level and also coached high school baseball throughout his life and constantly pushes me to be the best player, and person I can be. I have played many positions on the field, although for Shipley only shortstop and third base. Both Coaches Dan Hopple and Tom Barr from the Valley Forge Patriots, my previous travel team, have been huge mentor figures in my life. They not only allowed me to be my energetic and easygoing self off the field, but pushed me to become a driven player who gives 100 percent in both practices and games. Coach Maria Di Bernardi was the final push the Shipley softball program needed. It is not only her extensive knowledge of the game that inspires my teammates and I, but the life lessons she ingrains in our practices, games, and bonding sessions. I deeply admire all of the advice she gives me and value how close we have become in her short time here at Shipley.
Q: What has been your most memorable experience as a Shipley softball player?
A: Surprisingly enough, I think my most memorable experience was losing the championship game to Friends’ Select last year. Although we did not get the result we wanted, I knew this did not define our season in any way. We went undefeated in the FSL, which was a HUGE accomplishment for Shipley Softball. Losing this game taught me so much about the value of hard work and failure, that an unwanted result does not reflect the road you took to get there and the progress you made along the way. It made me even more ambitious and impatient for the next year’s season!
Q: Other than softball, what other extracurricular activities do you participate in at Shipley?
A: At Shipley I am heavily involved in Student Government, having been both Senior and Junior Class Presidents for the last two years and working in Community Life my freshman and sophomore years. I am a DECA Chapter Head for Shipley, which is a leader for our business competition club. I also am a Senior Admissions Ambassador and have been involved with the program since my freshman year.
Q: What do you think you might like to major in at Penn State? Is there a career field that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: As of now, I am on track for majoring in marketing and would love to add either another major or minor on top of that. I love the idea of working in digital marketing for a company and possible managing their social media platforms, analyzing what the best way to reach an audience online is!
Fun facts – Lexi Wojtelwicz
Favorite book: Educated by Tara Westover.
Favorite TV show: The Office.
Favorite athlete: Matisse Thybulle.
Favorite team: Philadelphia 76ers.
Favorite place to visit: “Orlando, Fla. for our softball Spring Training trip.”
Family members: parents Adam and Gina, brother Nick.
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)