Northwestern State welcomes back Amanda Locke to staff

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Donald Pickett completed his Northwestern State softball coaching staff with another familiar face, the head coach announced Monday.

Amanda Locke rejoins the Lady Demons as the associate head coach after serving on Pickett’s NSU staff from 2013-14.

The hire is subject to the approval of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System, of which NSU is a member.

Locke spent the past four seasons at Texas Tech, serving as the primary pitching coach.

The Mesquite, Texas, native will return to her offensive roots at NSU as she’ll be involved in hitting on Pickett’s staff.

“We’re excited to have Amanda back,” Pickett said. “It’s always good to have people back who helped us be successful before.

“She was with us when we won our two Southland Conference Tournament titles and made our two NCAA Tournament appearances. She’s familiar with the region, with our program and with our standards. She’ll hit the ground running, and that will be very important.”

Locke worked primarily with pitchers in her last stint at NSU. including tutoring Kylie Roos and Kaylee Guidry in 2013, who combined for a sub-2.00 ERA with 29 combined wins and a pair of All-Southland Conference selections.

Locke helped slice NSU’s team ERA from 3.88 in 2012 to 2.15 in 2013.

She also assisted with hitting in seasons that built the foundation for NSU’s most prominent power numbers with hitters like Cassandra Barefield and Kellye Kincannon.

“Amanda helped a little bit with the offense in her last stint, but this time, she’ll be primarily an offensive coach,” Pickett said. “She’s really similar to me in hitting style, and she’ll carry on that same philosophy in a different voice, which will be beneficial.

“She can throw front toss and give us a live look to get us ready for certain matchups. We’re confident in what she’ll add to our staff.”

At Texas Tech, young pitchers that Locke recruited morphed into the Red Raiders’ leading arms.

Freshman Erin Edmundson posted a team-high 17 wins with a 2.97 ERA en route to All-Big 12 Freshman Team honors in 2018. Freshman Kassidy Scott was selected to the All-Big 12 Freshman team in 2017 with 10 wins.

Locke lowered the team ERA to 3.78 this past season for a 31-28 squad, improving from 4.72 in 2017 and 5.77 in 2016.

But Locke is no stranger to the bat.

As a utility player at Alabama, she took home NFCA All-American honors (second team) and an All-Southeastern Conference selection as the Crimson Tide won the national title in 2012.

Locke ranks third in Alabama history with 54 career home runs and eighth with 161 RBIs.

As a senior, she slugged .703 with 18 home runs, 56 RBIs and 116 total bases, all of which rank second all-time in Alabama single-season history.

Locke joins pitching coach Brooke Boening on Pickett’s staff. Boening was a senior pitcher under Locke’s tutelage in 2014.