SALINA — The Paola Lady Panthers had to deal with a two-day rain delay at Bill Burke Stadium in Salina during the Class 4A state softball tournament.

Paola (16-7) was in a 2-2 tie with Clay Center (21-2) during the opening round Thursday, May 23, when the game was suspended due to rain.

The game resumed Saturday, May 25.

It went into extra innings when Clay Center won it on a walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth for a 3-2 victory. Clay Center went on to place third in the state.

Clay Center scored one run in the third inning. Paola tied the game at 1-1 in the fifth inning. Clay Center made it 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth and Paola answered with one run in the top of the sixth inning to knot things back up at 2-2.

Kiersten Weitze pitched the complete game for Paola, allowing three runs on six hits. She struck out nine.

Maggie Morgan doubled and drove home one run for Paola. Hanna Menefee drove in one run.

Alexis Chapman singled, stole a base and scored. Halle Schindler singled and scored.

Weitze and Menefee had sacrifices to advance base runners. Weitze turned a double play.

The Paola Lady Panthers upset Piper and defeated Atchison to win the Class 4A regional and advance to the state tournament.

Members of the regional champion and state qualifying Lady Panther softball team are Aubrey Weaherbie, Alexis Chapman, Hannah Menefee, Kierstan Weitze, Lexi Smail, Jayda Logan, Dailey Mitchell, Maggi Morgan, Kate Ediger, Madison Bryant, Grace Lopez, Jenna Collier and Halle Schindler.

Seniors playing in their final high school game for Paola were Lopez, Menefee, Mitchell, Morgan and Schindler.

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

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