Northwestern State hires Boening as pitching coach


NSU- Brooke Boening isn’t a stranger to Northwestern State purple, and she’ll don that color again after being named the Lady Demons pitching coach, announced head coach Donald Pickett on Monday.

Boening’s hire is subject to the approval of the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System, which includes Northwestern State.

Boening was an NSU pitcher from 2010-2013 and a volunteer pitching coach in 2015.

The Floresville, Texas, native was a part of the NSU program for an NCAA Tournament trip in 2013 as a senior pitcher and a Southland Conference regular season title in 2015.

“We’re excited to have Brooke back with our program,” Pickett said. “She’s done great things here as a player and as a pitching coach.

“It’s always great to have alumni come back and want to help our program. She’s had an impact everywhere she’s been.”

As a volunteer assistant in 2015, Boening helped tutor an NSU pitching staff with a conference-low 1.19 ERA that featured both All-Southland Conference First Team pitchers Mikayla Brown (Pitcher of Year) and Micaela Bouvier.

NSU’s ERA improved by more than three full points from 2014. Boening will reunite with Brown, who will be pitching as a redshirt senior and likely to enter NSU’s record books in multiple statistics.

Boening said the familiarity with the NSU administration and with Brown should make for a smooth transition.

“I’m really excited that (NSU athletic director Greg Burke) and (Pickett) gave me the opportunity to come back to what I call my second home — my softball home,” Boening said. “This place has always been a big part of me as a player and a coach.

“We’re starting with a certain level of trust because we know each other, and I think that will help me with what will be a young pitching staff this season.”

After two seasons as a pitching coach at Rhode Island, Boening returned to the Southland Conference by bolstering Southeastern’s pitching staff during the 2018 season.

The Lady Lions’ 38-21 mark is SLU’s best in 34 years, due in part to a pair of starting pitchers with double-digit wins. Senior Rachel Hayes made the All-Southland Conference Third Team as the catalyst behind an SLU staff that lowered its team ERA a full point to 2.99.

At Rhode Island, Boening tutored two freshmen to the All-Atlantic 10 Rookie Team in her two seasons.

“One of the things I learned is that anybody can win at any time,” Boening said. “At Rhode Island, we fought our way from the bottom of the league.

“Then we had a great season at Southeastern with a team that had leadership, but everybody really stepped it up. The Southland Conference is a league where you have to bring your A-game into every series.”

As a player, Boening posted 28 career wins over four seasons. She went 8-6 as a senior on a team that reached the NCAA Tournament.

Boening finished her career sixth in strikeouts (384), a position she still holds.

During her time at NSU, Boening also held an internship position with the strength and conditioning staff as well as a graduate assistant spot in the academic counseling department.

CREDIT: Chris Reich/mug shot. Gary Hardamon/pitching. Matt Vines/graphic