Oakdale head coach Larry Loger doesn’t know how many pitches senior Lexie Webb threw in the four games.
“It was six or seven hundred in the last couple of days,” Loger said.
The Mustangs had to win four elimination games (two in each day) in order to win a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III title in late May and needed their ace to lead them.
Webb said she was tired in the final game but never asked to be taken out as the Mustangs beat Golden Valley 12-2 to win the championship. It was the Mustangs’ sixth title and first since 2014.
“She will just keep going until she can’t walk,” Loger said. “The best part of her story is the way she finished this season. That’s her legacy, the way she finished it off.”
Webb is The Bee’s Spring Sports Athlete of the Year.
“I just kept telling myself just take one pitch at a time (in elimination games) and just breathe because there was a point where I got a little anxious and overwhelmed,” Webb said. “I was determined to get that banner.”
How did she celebrate the championship?
“Our graduation was the next day,” Webb said. “I was so excited to relax and have time with family and friends. Everyone was telling us congrats on the title.”
The excellence on the field — Golden Valley star Marissa Bertuccio gave her high marks — mirrored her smiles in the halls of the Oakdale High campus and in class.
Her season stats were video-game like: she hit .598 with 10 home runs, 43 RBIs, and struck out only three times in 108 at-bats. She also was 22-1 with a 0.63 earned run average with 271 strikeouts in 154 innings with seven walks allowed.
“I love the competition and being the pitcher and having more pressure,” she said.
Webb isn’t going too far for college as she signed with Fresno State, choosing the Mountain West school over Arizona State and Sacramento State.
Steve Webb, Lexie’s father, said one reason she chose Fresno State was the proximity to home.
“We are very excited to be close to her so we can go watch her games and be a family,” he said.
Playing college softball wasn’t always a given for Webb.
Growing up, she played t-ball and admitted she wasn’t that good.
When she was 14 years-old, she started playing travel ball and that’s when both Lexie and Steve saw the potential.
“In recreation ball, the team needed someone to pitch and she threw hard so we found her a pitching coach,” he said. “We worked on pitching every day.”
Webb played all four years at Oakdale on varsity and had over 100 career RBIs and 500 strikeouts.
Golden Valley senior pitcher Marissa Bertuccio, who signed with Sacramento State, faced Webb the hitter. She said her Oakdale counterpart showed great patience at the plate.
“She doesn’t have many weaknesses,” Bertuccio, who was 28-5 with a 0.62 ERA said. “She will identify the changeup and wait for it or take an inside pitch and hit it outside.”
The two didn’t face off in their first three years until the Div. III championship games. Webb had a homer off Bertuccio.
When facing Webb on the mound, Bertuccio said Webb had a little bit of everything.
“She had a really good down ball and can come up with a rise ball,” she said.
Webb had 16 strikeouts in the two wins over the Cougars.
Oakdale sophomore infielder Dylan Gonzalez said Webb was one of the leaders of the team.
“She is caring and always keeps a smile on her face and has high-energy all the time,” Gonzalez said.
Off the field, Gonzalez said Webb always made sure her friends were having good days at school.
“She always jumped on me during passing period,” Gonzalez, who hit .545 with 31 runs said. “She gave big hugs.”
Webb, The Bee’s Softball Player of the Year last season, had a 3.6 GPA and plans to major in Biology at Fresno State.
Loger has been the head coach of the Mustangs for 19 years and said Webb is one of the best players to come out of Oakdale — a group that includes Oklahoma freshman Grace Green and Arizona State juniors Kindra and Maddi Hackbarth.
“She is not just one of the best to come out of Oakdale but in this area as well,” Loger said. “She is the total package. She is a leader, mentally tough, can hit, pitch, and play the field and the girls looked up to her because the type of person she is.”
Webb, who played with all three (Hackbarth twins her freshman year and Green from 2016-18), said she pushed herself to be as good as them and is proud of her Oakdale legacy.
Loger said Webb’s performance in the playoffs was something he won’t forget.
“There were a lot of pitches under stress in a three-day period,” he said. “She is tough and outworks everyone. By the end of that last game, I knew she was pretty much finished but would have gone back out there as long as we have told to her to.”
Name: Lexie Webb
Hobbies: Drawing, hanging at home with family
Favorite Food: Chicken Nuggets
Pregame ritual: None, but wears jewelry every game including a necklace her dad gave her from when he served in the U.S. Army.
2019 Bee Spring Athletes of the Year