EDWARDSVILLE - Lexie Griffin, a senior catcher for the Edwardsville High softball team, signed a letter of intent to play for Parkland College in Champaign for the 2023 season in a ceremony held at the high school on Monday afternoon.

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Griffin, who hit .383 with two home runs and 21 RBIs in the abbreviated 2021 season, is one of three Tiger players who signed with the Cobras on Monday, joining teammates Emily Wolff and Ryleigh Owens. She felt that the Parkland co-head coaches, Dan and Kristi Paulson, were a big influence in her decision to sign with the Cobras.

"Definitely the coaches," Griffin said in an interview following the ceremonies. "The coaches had a big part in, like, my decision. They made me feel really welcome, and just being there felt very comfortable."

Griffin will bring much leadership and a good attitude to Parkland's squad.

"I think I'll bring a lot of leadership and a good attitude on the team," Griffin said. "I think I'll bring a good bat and just like lots of energy for everybody."

Griffin also considered Arkansas Tech and Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill.

"They didn't feel like home, and I didn't feel as comfortable there," Griffin said.

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Griffin is planning on majoring in special education at Parkland, with hopes of becoming a teacher. She and Owens visited the campus together, and both came away very impressed.

"So, Ryleigh and I visited there together," Griffin said, "and I think that just being a good option for the both of us really helped a lot because we've always wanted to play together. So it helped, and Emily ended up loving it, too. So, it's really going to be awesome to get to play with those two."

Tigers head coach Lori Blade knows that Griffin does a great job as a catcher, bringing both superior defensive skills and a great ability to call a game.

"Lexie does a great job behind the plate," Blade said. "She receives well, she calls good games, but she's just a wall back there for us. But she's a good leader that has a great rapport with her pitchers, and she'll compete hard for us as well."

For her part, Griffin is looking forward to having a big season for Edwardsville this coming season and feels strongly about a big postseason run.

"Yes, I'm so excited," Griffin said. "I think that this is definitely our season."

Griffin will also put the experiences of the Tigers' volleyball team, who finished fourth in the IHSA Class 4A tournament recently, to good use on the softball field as well.

"Well, it got me a good experience at state," Griffin said, "which is going to just like make me and my teammates more motivated to go. And I think, like, a volleyball court is a lot different, obviously, but just like the team chemistry is going to be a big part of it this season."

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