KU Signee Chapple Named NHSCA Softball Athlete of the Year

June 6, 2005

EASTON, Pa. –

University of Kansas 2005 softball signee Valerie Chapple (Overland Park, Kan.) was recently named the 2005 National High School Softball Athlete of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association. Chapple, a senior at Olathe East High School, will join the Jayhawk squad for the 2006 season.

Chapple, who will major in computer science at KU, led Olathe East to a perfect 25-0 season and their second-straight 6A state championship in 2005. She will be a utility player for the Jayhawks, competing for a starting spot at third base, behind the plate or in the outfield.

The award is given annually to high school athletes in 20 different sports. In 2003, Lisa Dodd, who now plays for defending national champion UCLA, was the recipient of the softball award.

“Individual honors of this level can only come from team success,” Chapple said. “Having the coaches, teammates and work ethic that we have at Olathe East made this possible and I am truly thankful to have played with them and have them as my friends.”

In addition, Chapple was named the 2005 Gatorade Softball Player of the Year for the state of Kansas and a First-Team All-American at third base by the National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association as a junior in 2004.

Chapple holds a high school career batting average of .525 at Olathe East as the Hawks went 90-5 overall with two state championships over the last four seasons. Off the field, Chapple posted a 4.4 grade point average and will be a Freshman Honors Scholar at KU in the fall.

KU finished 31-24 overall including 9-8 (sixth place) in the Big 12 Conference in 2005 and made its first NCAA Regional appearance since 1999.

– KU –