Northwestern State softball coach Donald Pickett didn’t wait around for the regular signing period to address player needs.
Pickett signed five Louisiana high school players Nov. 9, the first day of the early signing period.
Corner infielder Summer Atkins (Pickering High), pitcher Ryann Bizette (Pointe Coupee), pitcher E.C. Delafield (North DeSoto), utility player Baleigh Glover (Westlake) and catcher Codi Vernace (Haynes Academy) inked letters of intent with the Lady Demons.
“I think we have speed, power and athleticism in this class,” Pickett said. “We signed a couple of pitchers, a catcher and a couple of versatile infielders.
“We need to build depth in those places. We’re excited about this class, and we want to continue to bring a competitive atmosphere and environment out to the field every day in practice to help our program continue to improve and work toward our goals.”
Atkins set a Vernon Parish record as a freshman with 15 home runs, and she’s continued her power hitting throughout her career. She helped Pickering’s program host their first playoff games, leading to two all-state selections, three All-Cenla selections (Alexandria Town Talk), one Vernon Parish MVP and two Vernon Parish hitter of the year honors.
Bizette led Pointe Coupee to two Class 1A championships, being named the Tournament MVP each season. The pitcher is a four-time All-State selection, four-time All-Metro pick (Baton Rouge Advocate) and two-time district MVP.
Delafield is the second pitcher in the class, but she’s been no less successful on the championship stage. She’s aided North DeSoto to consecutive Class 4A titles and third state tournament appearance en route to a 58-11 career record as a pitcher. Delafield is a two-time All-Area Player of the Year (Shreveport Times), two-time Class 4A Player of the Year and three-time all-state selection. Delafield also has NSU connections with her grandfather Sammy Joe Odom (All-American football player) and father (baseball player, won 1991 Southland Conference title).
Glover personifies the word “utility.” The Westlake product made the all-district team as a pitcher in 2014 and as a utility player the past two seasons.
Vernace controls the game behind the plate as a five-time all-district catcher. The Haynes Academy product is a two-time all-state and three-time all-metro pick (Times Picayune).
Pickett said he’s targeted several other players who could sign before the early period ends next week.