Original article by Bob Putnam
Academy at the Lakes pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl solidified her status as perhaps the greatest high school softball player ever from the area after being named the Gatorade state softball player of the year for the second straight season.
The senior, who led the Wildcats to consecutive state titles, is the area’s first two-time winner of the award. Former Chamberlain standout Bianka Bell (2012) and former Palm Harbor University star Dani Hofer (2005) are the only other locals who have won.
Kilfoyl also becomes just the third two-time winner from the state, joining Dunnellon’s Kasey Fagan (2009-10) and Spruce Creek’s Kelsi Dunne (2006-07).
Ranked as the nation’s top pitcher in the 2019 class, Kilfoyl was key to AATL defending its title. The Alabama-bound ace overcame a shoulder injury and went 12-1 this season with a 0.48 ERA and had 134 strikeouts in 72 ⅔ innings. She was just as strong at the plate, hitting .562 with 12 homers and 37 RBIs.
In the 2A state championship game, Kilfoyl threw a six-inning no-hitter and finished with 10 strikeouts. She also had the winning hit, a solo home run in the first inning of the Wildcats’ 11-0 victory over Mount Dora Christian. Kilfoyl finished her career on a 37 ⅔-inning scoreless streak.
Kilfoyl also posted impressive numbers in the classroom. She has a 3.85 GPA and is a member of the Mu Alpha Theta honor society in math. She also volunteers for community beautification projects.
As the state player of the year, Kilfoyl can select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a $1,000 grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. She also will have the opportunity for an additional $10,000 grant by writing an essay in support of the organization she chooses.