Thirteen years ago, as a senior at Independence High School, Lael Rorie was a pitcher who led the Patriots to the N.C. 4A championship.
After the season, she was named the Observer’s player of the year. In 1999, Rorie hit .506 and struck out twice. As a pitcher she was 19-4 with a 0.72 ERA and 128 strikeouts.
In 2012, Rorie is back in the Observer’s spotlight, after leading Porter Ridge to a 33-1 record, a Sweet 16 championship and a No. 2 national ranking by ESPN.
Today, she adds to her victory pile, winning the Observer’s coach of the year award.
Her star player, N.C. Gatorade player of the year Lexi Davis, is the Observer’s player of the year. Davis was one of the area’s most dominant batters, with a .450 average, eight home runs and 42 RBIs. She may have been the best overall pitcher, too, going 33-1 with an 0.235 ERA. Davis has signed with Auburn.
She led her team to the championship by winning games at nationally ranked Alexander Central (then No. 1 by ESPN) and N.C. power North Davidson.
Those teams had won the past three N.C. 4A state titles.
The Observer annually selects all-star teams in select sports throughout the season. Players must be nominated to earn a spot on the team by their coaches.
A panel of Observer sportswriters selects the teams.
• Rorie and Davis double as All-Region coach and player of the year.
• The All-Mecklenburg player of the year is Olympic sophomore catcher Venus Gonzalez, who hit .574 with 48 RBIs, including 16 doubles and three home runs.
The All-Meck coach of the year is Olympic’s Rachel Dorr. Dorr was the ME-GA 7 conference coach of the year and led the Trojans to the conference championship and a second-round playoff berth.
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