SIOUX FALLS, SD -

When Lexi Koltz was younger, being taller than everybody else could be awkward.

"I've always been pretty tall.  Always about 6'1'' since probably seventh grade.  Yeah it's pretty weird!"  Lexi says.

So she turned awkward to intimidating.

"You look at college and, not all of them, but a lot of them are taller pitchers.  And then that's where I kind of got the idea that maybe I could do that some day.  It's always been a goal to just keep throwing harder every single offseason."  Koltz says.

After a brief stay on the JV team....

"She lasted all of one game down on the JV!"  Roosevelt Head Coach Scott Roth says.

....Koltz joined the varsity as a freshman and never looked back.  She's been one of the state's top hitters and has more than 600 strikeouts as a pitcher, leading the Riders to state titles in each of her last three seasons.

"I'm not so sure she isn't the best player to ever come out of the state of South Dakota.  It's stuff you can't teach such as size on there, the intimidation factor, the work ethic.  That's all things you can't necessarily teach."  Roth says.

And her plan for college paid off.  Big 12 power Baylor recruited Koltz early and will bring her aboard next year to help lead their pitching staff.

"I just love their campus down there and their coaching staff.  I just can't wait to play down there!"  Koltz says.

Once again Koltz might feel a little different as the lone South Dakotan on one of college softball's best teams.

"It's always been a goal of our team to kind of represent South Dakota softball.  And if we can put our name out on a big stage that's a goal of ours."  Lexi says.

Fortunately she already knows how to deal with that!  

Zach Borg, KDLT Sports.