West Mecklenburg’s Moore signs to play softball at Shaw

by Cliff Mehrtens

West Mecklenburg High softball player Alexis Moore (front row, right) signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball at Shaw University next fall. Her mother, Beaufort Moore, seated on the left and West Mecklenburg teammates, standing from left, Carmel Smolik and De’Onna Banks, support Moore as she makes the commitment. (Cliff Mehrtens/MIM photo)

CHARLOTTE – Alexis Moore didn’t get an early start in her softball career. But that didn’t stop college recruiters from seeing her potential.

Moore, a senior outfielder at West Mecklenburg High, signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball next fall at Shaw University in Raleigh. Shaw is an NCAA Division II school and competes in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA).

Moore, who plays left and right field, said she also considered North Carolina A&T, Bethune-Cookman University and Benedict College.

“I liked  the way the Shaw coach (Kimberly Miller) said she would work with me on my softball skills,” Moore said. “And the program was very family-oriented. I was considering other schools, but it was about family, and I liked it because of that.”

Moore said Shaw coaches have projected she’ll play outfield in college.

“I want to get better on my hitting,” she said. “And I want to work on my fielding between now and then.”

Moore wore a gray-and-maroon Shaw T-shirt during the signing ceremony in West Mecklenburg’s media center. Her mom Beaufort Moore was at her side along with Hawks softball teammates Carmel Smolik and De’Onna Banks.

Moore has scored 13 runs this season, with seven RBIs and four extra-base hits. Her best game was a 3-for-3 at the plate, with a home run and three RBIs in a victory against Garinger. She will join a Shaw program that recently finished its season with a 13-30 record.

“Alexis got started a little late playing softball, so she has to work hard this summer to prepare,” said Ron Sprague, West Mecklenburg’s softball coach. “But she’ll do anything you ask. Ask her to knock that post down, and she will try to knock it down.

“Once she gets to (Shaw), she’ll just have to work hard, listen to the coaches there and put in the work.”

West Mecklenburg is on a hot streak, and beat Gastonia Huss 12-7 on April 25, and beat Garinger 22-0 on April 27. The Hawks will close out the regular season with a 5:30 p.m. game at East Gaston on Friday, May 4.

Moore and her teammates are hopeful of reaching the N.C. 4A playoffs. They have a 9-9 record heading into the season finale.

Moore said she will continue working to improve her softball skills after the high-school season ends. That will include workouts on her own, or perhaps joining an AAU or recreational team. Either way, she wants to be ready for the jump to playing college softball.

“I am very excited about this,” Moore said, looking around the media center. “I think it will be a great opportunity for me. I want to go there, work really hard and see if what happens. I’m ready to go.”

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