Derby High School senior softball player Alexis Enslinger had big expectations for the 2020 softball season for the 6A Panthers.
Those expectations never got to be a reality as the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID-19. Enslinger had prepped for a big senior year as she has been involved with playing softball since she was five. She had a big junior season last year earning all-league and honorable mention all-state honors from Sports in Kansas last season and was one of the top returning players in the Wichita metro. She had goals not only to improve upon her personal numbers but to win state with her team that took third place in the 6A tournament one year ago.
Enslinger had some great numbers a year ago as she hit .487 on 58 plate appearances with 14 RBI. The second baseman and utility player has signed to play at Northern Oklahoma College of Enid next season.
Enslinger also gets it done in the clasroom with a 3.65 GPA and lists gym as her favorite class at Derby High School. She has plans to study Physical Therapy in college.
While there wasn't a 2020 season to highlight accomplishments for the Panthers under head coach Christy Weve but they had a lot to be proud of after a top three finish last season. We caught up with the outstanding senior below on the lost season.
How did you get involved in sports?
I started in T-ball when I was little. I wanted to try every sport. I did play soccer, basketball, and softball. Softball always had my heart.
Biggest accomplishment off the field/court?
My big focus is softball. I train multiple times a week. With that my biggest accomplishments are getting a chance to work with the younger girls. Being a mentor, setting an example, and improving their game.
What were your goals this season?
I was really excited for this season. I was looking to grow with my team, and improve personal stats. As a team we were confident we were finishing where we left off last year. We were confident this was our year! We were winning state!
What makes you such a force as an athlete?
I have a great work ethic, and a lot of drive. I am also competitive. It is important to me to continue to play hard and give it my all. I am a confident and aggressive at the plate.
Explain the heartbreak it was like to hear that the senior season in sports is cut short?
There are no words to explain the heart break and devastation I felt, and still feel about this season ending. There is just something about the energy you have for your senior season, especially going to state your senior season. We were ready, we knew this was our year. You talk about how hard you have worked, but there is just something about being able to execute. I had big dreams of finishing strong, and so did my team mates.
During the stay at home order, I have been working to stay in shape for summer ball, and college. I hope that we will still get to play ball this summer with my club team the Kansas Blue Sox.
What is your best sport?
What’s the atmosphere like to play for your school and town?
There is nothing like the support from the Derby Community. In every sport, they rally with the support. It definitely motivates you to do your best and be aggressive on the field.
Who were other key players on your team(s)?
I was really looking forward to finishing this year strong with the two other seniors this year Mariah Wheeler and Halle Rico.
Favorite thing about sports you play?
I love softball. As much as it is a team sport, I love to push myself to be better. I like meeting people, and helping my team develop in a positive environment.
What is it like to play for your coaches?
All of the coaches are great! They push you on and off the field, and push you to practice how you play in a game, always giving 100%.
How much preparation had you put into sports?
I have played softball my whole life. I train multiple times a week.
What interest are you seeing at the next level and what are your plans?
I have always had plans to play college softball. I have accepted an offer at Northern Oklahoma College of Enid. I am really looking forward to continuing to play there, and potentially moving to the next level.
Favorite thing to do when you aren’t playing sports?
I enjoy reading and resting at home.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
While in college I plan to study Physical Therapy, and potentially opening a practice with my sister.
Favorite subject in school, what type of student are you, GPA?
Gym- it allows me to be active and work out. Overall, I am a great student, and enjoy school. I have a 3.65 GPA and am taking two honors classes.
Who is your role model?
Best place to eat in your town or the surrounding area?
Pizza Johns- I love that place.
What would you say to the underclassmen out there right now reading this?
Keep pushing and keep striving to be better. Give it your all, and leave it out on the field.
One thing the average person wouldn’t know about you?
I love to show my creativity in my free time, by painting and drawing.
Anything else to add?
It was very important to me to have a very successful senior year, but it is also important to me to have had a great legacy, and wish the best to the Derby High School softball program.
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