Northwestern State adds junior college pitcher Denton

Fall softball games allow Northwestern State coach Donald Pickett to get a sense of his own team, but it also allows junior college players to get exposure to Division I coaching staffs.

NSU signed Tyler Junior College pitcher Ryleigh Denton partly based on her performance against the Lady Demons as Pickett increased his signing class to two Friday.

As a freshman, Denton was the Apaches’ primary arm, putting together a 15-7 record in 24 appearances with a 2.84 ERA.

The right-hander struck out 76 and walked 37 in 111 innings.

“Ryleigh is a different style pitcher than what we have because she pitches down,” Pickett said. “She pitched against us in the fall and did a good job, and we think she’ll be able to step right in and contribute immediately.

“She adds depth to the staff, and we’re excited to sign her.”

The Apaches posted a 33-21 record this past season and advanced to the Region XIV Tournament.

The Rotan, Texas, native excelled in five sports in high school, garnering two district MVP softball awards.

But Denton was an all-district performer in volleyball, basketball and tennis while advancing to the regional track and field meet as a jumper.

Denton joins outfielder Camryn Ford of Many in the signing class.