Gene Morris / Staff Photo

Alexis Chapman, lead-off hitter for the Lady Panthers, follows through on a swing. Chapman led Paola with 30 runs scored and a .528 batting average.

PAOLA — Alexis Chapman was the one who started things off for the Class 4A regional champion Paola Lady Panther softball team.

Chapman led-off for the Lady Panthers and was the one who helped set the table.

She led Paola in stolen bases (11), singles (26), runs scored (30), batting average (.528) and on-base percentage (.590).

Chapman was tied for the club lead in base hits (38), tied for second in walks (8) and tied for second in doubles (8).

Her fielding on the season was perfect. Chapman made 25 put outs in the outfield without making a single error for a 1.000 fielding percentage. She was also perfect on the base path with 11 steals in 11 attempts.

Chapman was selected the Tri-County Spotlight Softball Player of the Year.

“Alexis was the spark plug of our team,” Paola coach Sherry Ball said. “As lead off, she very rarely failed to make her first at bat a successful one. She is also very talented in reading pitchers, and does a great job of relaying helpful information to her team.”

She had eight doubles, two triples and two home runs. Chapman drove in 22 runs.

Chapman is one of the fastest players in the Frontier League, Ball said, and that speed serves her well not only on the bases, but in the field.

“Alexis is a speed demon not only on the base paths, but also in the outfield,” Ball said. “She runs down fly balls that a lot of players would not get to.”

Chapman singled, stole a base and scored in the state playoff game against Clay Center in Salina on May 25. Paola lost a one-run game, 3-2.

Chapman singled, doubled, drove home one run and scored in a 10-6 victory against Piper in the Class 4A regional championship game May 12.

She singled, doubled, drove in two runs, scored twice and stole two bases in a 15-0 victory against Atchison in the semifinals.

Chapman hit two singles and scored in a 3-1 victory against rival Spring Hill on April 23.

She drew four bases on balls, scored three runs, stole two bases and hit one single in a 17-7 victory against Chanute on April 12. Chapman had two hits and drove in two runs as Paola completed the sweep with a 10-4 victory.

Three was a lucky number for Chapman in a 17-7 victory against Baldwin on April 18. She had three base hits and scored three runs in the run-rule victory. Chapman doubled and singled twice.

Chapman had three base hits and scored two runs in a 3-1 victory against Tonganoxie on April 9.

Chapman is one of the many reasons the Paola Lady Panthers are optimistic about the team’s outlook for 2020.

“Since Alexis is also coming back next year, we are very excited to have that weapon back in our arsenal as well,” Ball said.

Sports Editor Gene Morris can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or gene.morris@miconews.com.

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