Alexis Stone loves softball. It’s been that way ever since the Stone Mountain High School junior and captain of the Lady Pirates softball team caught a game at a park in Pittsburgh when she was eight.
“I went up to the coach and I watched [the game] for a little second, then my mom asked him can I play,” Stone recalled. That was beginning. “He taught me how to play, and I was good.”
Apparently, the talent runs in the family. Her mother, Candice Cunningham, played softball in high school. She thinks her daughter took to it “because she found it to be fun and it gave her a feeling of accomplishment,” Cunningham said through e-mail correspondence.
And Alexis’ older brother William, who died seven years ago today, Oct. 16., was also a good athlete. “She always wanted to be great like him,” her mother wrote. “In Middle School she tried out for football but an injury during practice made her aware this was a sport for guys. And he [William] had great sportsmanship. Nothing came easy for him he had to work hard for it. He taught Alexis when you want something to keep at it until you get it. So to sum it up he taught her how to be a great athlete.”
Alexis, who prefers playing third base, only needs to be shown something once, her mom said: “She works over and over to improve it but she has it.”
Alexis is also pretty good with math - pre-calculus, to be exact, a class she takes with seniors.
Alexis, who is captain of the softball team, can add another accomplishment to her school career: She was “Miss Softball” at last week's Stone Mountain High School Homecoming Coronation.
Stone has big plans for her future, too. Among her considerations are the Air Force and Army ("Honestly I won't care where. I’m trying to get a scholarship. Whoever offers me a scholarship with a good deal," she said) and has narrowed her career options down to the medical field, forensic science, accounting, psychiatry or psychology.
And although the Lady Pirates softball team has struggled, as captain, Alexis hasn't taken her role for granted. “I was told...recruiters will look at you individually and not look at the wins,” she said.
Alexis has high expectations of herself. “When I miss a ball, I tell myself ‘you’re not going to miss anything else.’ I’m a Christian girl that’s a big effect on my life. I try to stay positive.”
Her mother wants her daughter not to have to face certain obstacles.
“I want my daughter to receive a scholarship, so she doesn’t ever have to struggle,” Cunningham said. “I just got my LPN nursing license at 37 years old and now [I’m] in school for RN at 40.” She doesn’t want that for Alexis.
“Between my husband and I, we have 11 living children 12 including my son that passed. These kids have to get scholarships.”
But overall, her mother just wants for her daughter what all moms want: “MY BIGGEST DREAM FOR HER IS TO BE HAPPY!” Cunningham wrote. “ AND SUCCEED IN EVERYTHING SHE DOES!”
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