By CONOR NICHOLL
Arma-Northeast junior Shelby Underwood has been one of Kansas’ top softball players since her freshman year. Underwood is on an elite travel softball team that features several of Kansas’ top players.
She has led Northeast to a massive softball improvement – and looks to bring the Vikings to the state tournament for the first time in many years.
Northeast is among the final five undefeated softball teams. In 6A East, Olathe Northwest is 16-0. In 6A West, Derby stands at 16-0.
Classes 4A and 3A have no undefeated teams. Haven is 16-0 in 3A. In 2-1A, Northeast and McLouth (19-0) are perfect.
The Vikings have a .478 average. Underwood has exceeded 350 career strikeouts.
Last season, Northeast went 19-2 and lost, 8-5, to Pittsburg Colgan in the regional semifinals. Two years ago, NE finished 17-5 and lost 10-0 to Colgan in the regional semifinals. Colgan won the state championship.
After the COVID cancelled year in 2020, Northeast posted a 6-9 record in 2019. Northeast’s all-time best finish was a state runner-up in 1993.
This spring, the Uniontown regional features Northeast, Jayhawk-Linn (12-2), Uniontown (15-3), and six squads with sub-.500 records, including 3-10 Colgan.
Northeast has rolled through its Three Rivers League schedule. The Vikings, though, have quality wins against Jayhawk Linn and Uniontown. On April 17, Northeast defeated Jayhawk-Linn, 2-1 and 17-2. On April 18, Northeast beat Uniontown, 8-3 and 9-2.
Northeast has 14 wins with at least 12 runs.
Underwood has a 12-0 record, 1.24 earned-run average with 62 innings. She has struck out 113 against 15 walks.
Batting-wise, Underwood has a .778 average with five homers, five triples, 16 doubles and 46 RBI. Lexi Yarnell has a .628 mark with 11 doubles and four triples. Kenzie Jackson has a .543 average with five doubles, two triples and two homers.
Liberty Sigmen has a .538 mark with seven doubles, four triples and a homer. Autumn Claffey has a .444 average with three doubles and two triples. Destiney Hagen has a .426 mark with seven doubles and two triples.
Ciara Neville has a .388 average with two doubles and three triples. Chasity Young has a .361 mark with one double and three triples.
Neville has been the second pitcher with a 4-0 mark with a 2.00 ERA with 28 innings. She has 39 strikeouts against four walks.