Lopez catcher Lexi Castro spent 2018 nursing a knee injury, missing out on a bulk of her senior campaign and leaving the Lady Lobos without their top catcher.
Castro returned to the field for her senior season and cemented herself as the leader for the Lady Lobos’ defense from behind the plate and even in the infield as a shortstop, earning her the distinction as The Brownsville Herald’s 2019 All-Metro Softball Defensive Player of the Year.
Receiving the honor was special for Castro as she now shares the distinction with her twin sister Alex, who earned the award in 2016.
“I was really excited (to earn the honor) because it was my first time getting it and my sister won it her freshman year,” Lexi Castro said. “I was shocked because I didn’t think I would get this, but when my coach texted me I was, like, ‘Oh my God, I got it.’ I told everyone and they were really proud of me.”
Despite a fifth-place finish in District 32-5A and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2016, Lexi Castro shined on defense with a .95 fielding percentage, 76 putouts, 38 assists and just six errors on 120 total chances this season. She even did some pitching this season, adding 21 strikeouts.
At the plate, she recorded a .542 batting average with 27 RBIs, six home runs and 31 runs scored.
She was selected as a unanimous all-district first-team catcher.
Lopez coach Jesse Martinez said he brought Lexi Castro back in the fold after the injury as a shortstop, where she also excelled. But when she was back to full health she took her stance behind the plate, where she was most effective.
“She’s a leader and she pretty much runs the defense,” Martinez said. “She’s gotten to the point where she knew exactly what we needed. She’s a kid we could rely on defensively at every single point. She knew how to control the pitchers, and understood the pitcher’s location, speed and knew hitters very well, too.”
Lexi Castro said she was timid at first, getting back behind the plate, but all her doubts were put to rest knowing the trust she had from the team in front of her.
“The beginning of the year it was scary for me being back and having to wear that knee brace,” Lexi Castro said. “I overcame that fear and started playing, and everybody was supporting me with it. It was an honor to let my coach and the whole team let me make the decisions and call what plays to make and what pitches to call. That showed they had a lot of trust in me even though I was out for a year.”