A mix of power, speed and defense adorns a six-player signee class as Northwestern State softball added to its family Wednesday.
The Lady Demons picked up four Texas natives and a pair of Louisianans to open the softball signing period.
“We’re really excited about them because of the talent and athleticism in this class,” said NSU coach Donald Pickett. “We added depth that we really needed, and there’s a lot of versatility in this class.
“We can put a lot of good players on the field at once. We filled some needs with great players as we try to take this to the next level.”
Middle infielder Samantha Rodriguez is a ranked prospect by Extra Inning Softball, checking in at No. 105 in the organization’s “Extra Elite 200.”
Rodriguez, a two-time all-district player at Summer Creek High School in Houston, won golden glove and silver slugger awards.
“Rodriguez is a very good middle infielder who knows the game and can really play,” Pickett said. “She’s a coach on the field.”
Pineville High’s Kacee Mertens brings speed who can play a multitude of positions. Mertens was a three-time all-district selection who was honorably mentioned for the Louisiana Class 5A All-State team twice headed into her senior season.
Outfielder Savannah Bartay of Brenham, Texas, will also supply speed as a two-time all-district performer from Brenham High School.
“Kacee is a well-rounded utility player who has speed on the bases,” Pickett said of the high school infielder, who scored 91 runs and 61 RBIs through her first three seasons. “Savannah also brings top-notch speed to the lineup that should help us.”
Fellow Brenham High teammate Kat Marshall is one of several NSU signees that produces pop with her bat.
The catcher/first baseman is a three-time all-state performer in Texas who was selected to the All-Greater Houston Area team as a junior.
Other signees whom Pickett expects to add power are Many High’s Keely DuBois and Mt. Pleasant (Texas) native Jordan Dickerson.
DuBois is a two-time all-state shortstop who compiled 107 RBIs and 15 home runs in her first three seasons, posting batting averages above .500 in each of the last two seasons.
Dickerson was the District MVP and the Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore and junior, respectively, for a Mt. Pleasant squad that was bi-district champions.
“We wanted a little more power in our lineup, and we definitely think we did that,” Pickett said. “We added players that can be great on offense and defense.
“(Marshall) is a big middle-of-the-lineup kid. DuBois and Dickerson are both kids that can bring a lot of power, too.”
Wednesday’s six signees are added to shortstop Nicole Skerlong, who won player of the year honors among Mississippi junior and community colleges as a freshman. Skerlong signed with NSU this past summer.
CREDIT: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services