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Player Highlight: Nini Underwood

Player Highlight: Nini Underwood

Danya Shea
We sat down with Nini, 17, at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, FL to uncover her motivation behind the sport she loves, softball - and to also find out how she stays positive during a slump.

How did you get started in softball?


I've played baseball since I could walk, then when I got to high school I started playing softball. I've loved it ever since.

What is your favorite softball memory?


We beat Boone High School and Apopka High School, who are our biggest rivals, and I remember taking pictures on the field after the game and everyone on my team was so happy. When you play like a team it's a great feeling.

img_4327 Photo by: Peter Koehler

How do you improve on the field?


For defense, I work on my range because I play shortstop. That is actually a skill I have that sets me apart from other players.

How do you improve off the field?


I watch softball on tv for inspiration and try to emulate what the college and professional players do.

What are your future plans?


First I plan on graduating college and then coaching. I'd love to coach a travel team on the side. As a captain, I get to coach and lead my teammates. When you see a player finally "click" because of something you've said, it's a great feeling. In terms of a career, I plan on going to college for marketing.


What is your favorite softball pre-game warm up song? Do you have a saying or motto that you tell yourself before a big game?


I don't really have a softball cheer but I try to envision what I want to do. I like to set goals for myself - for example, «I'm gonna get on at least two times, or I'm going to hit harder.»

 
img_4230 Photo by: Peter Koehler

Do you have any softball superstitions?

A teammate and I used to always listen to Miley Cyrus, because every time we would jam out to her on the bus ride to a game we would win.

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Why do you love playing softball?


Softball helps me with everything. It helps me improve mentally and physically. The joy you get from softball comes from competing and overcoming challenges you didn't think you could overcome. I love everything about softball!


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