Topeka High’s Canady named Kansas Gatorade Softball Player of the Year

Published: Jun. 18, 2021 at 2:00 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topeka High standout junior NiJa Canady has been named the 2020-21 Gatorade Kansas Softball Player of the Year.

Canady is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award, which will be announced later this month.

“Winning State, that was of course the primary goal this season,” Canady said. “Gatorade Player of the Year, that was the icing on top of the cake.”

The six-foot right-handed pitcher and infielder led the Trojans to a perfect 25-0 record en route to the school’s first-ever 6A Softball State Championship.

“Ended with a strikeout, which is the best way to end a game,” she remembers. “We all just came to the circle, everyone’s hugging, it was just amazing. No other Topeka High team has done that, so I think that was even more amazing.”

Ranked as the No. 19 recruit in the country for her class by Extra Inning Softball, she went 21-0 with a 0.26 earned run average. Canady allowed just 37 hits while striking out 232 batters in 109.1 innings pitched.

She batted .515 with 16 home runs, 59 runs batted in and a 1.364 slugging percentage.

Off the diamond, Canady is junior class president and volunteers in homeless shelters, nursing homes and as a youth basketball coach. She maintains a 4.46 GPA.

She’s the first-ever Trojan to receive the honor in softball.

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