Tarrow fills Black Hills’ need for speed

Junior shortstop Lexi Tarrow uses her legs to give the Wolves a weapon atop the order and to terrorize opposing defenses

mwochnick@theolympian.comMarch 25, 2014 

TUMWATER —The fastpitch diamond and track oval at Black Hills High School are just a few feet apart, so you can’t blame junior shortstop Lexi Tarrow for stopping to catch a glimpse of the sprinters.

“I wish I could still do track,” she said of the sport she did in her middle-school days. “Sometimes, I get jealous of the sprinters.”

She might be one of the few fastpitch players around who could represent herself well in a 100-meter race in track.

How fast is Tarrow? She has been clocked from home plate to first base — a distance of 60 feet — in 2.7 seconds. That’s about the same time most top high school 100-meter sprinters post over that same distance.

But Tarrow’s focus remains on fastpitch, where her speed is a

huge part of her game. And it’s a big reason why the junior switched to hitting left-handed as an 11-year-old. It “made things easier,” she said, because she gets to first base faster out of the batter’s box.

“That’s made my game that much stronger,” said Tarrow, a natural right-hander. “When I get on base, I know I’m going to steal. I love being able to run.”

And Tarrow utilizes what she calls her “blessed speed” at every opportunity, and has hit better than .500 in each of her first two high school seasons. As the Wolves’ leadoff hitter a year ago, she hit .600 with an on-base percentage of .614, and was 11 for 11 on stolen bases.

But she can hit for power, too. Eleven of her 34 hits were for extra-bases, including three home runs and five triples.

A natural right fielder — a position she’ll play at BYU, where she orally committed to in December — Tarrow is the Wolves’ starting shortstop “only because we need her there,” coach Nikki Winkley said.

Winkley refers to Tarrow as a hybrid, a player who can play multiple positions and has a multitude of skills. But it’s what Tarrow does at the plate that keeps fielders on their toes and sets her apart, Winkley said.

“People think she’s going to slap (hit) and the next thing, she’s crushing the ball,” Winkley said. “No one knows what she’s doing to do.”

Fastpitch outlook

mwochnick@theolympian.com theolympian.com/ southsoundsports

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