Lady Demons host Huskies on special weekend for softball dads

There are few things in life as special as the connection between a father and a daughter. As Northwestern State hosts its second conference series of the year, it will celebrate those bonds already established and those currently being built. 

The Lady Demons (16-14, 3-3) hosts HCU in a three-game series beginning with Friday’s doubleheader at 4 p.m. Saturday’s 12 p.m. game will serve as Daddy/Daughter Day at Demon Diamond with many of the NSU dads on hand to celebrate with their daughters on the field. 

Dads and daughters that come to the game on Saturday can purchase tickets for just $5 at the ticket booth, as the Demons celebrate those special bonds throughout the day. 

All games in the series will also be broadcast on ESPN+ with Patrick Netherton providing play-by-play, and are also sponsored by Green Acres Car Wash located on Keyser Avenue in Natchitoches. 

NSU enters the series with the Huskies (13-18, 3-3) swinging good bats, despite the midweek loss to Louisiana Tech where it only scored one run. It is averaging nearly 10 hits per game over the past seven games thanks to those good swings. 

Designated player Makenzie Chaffin continues to lead the team in most offensive categories with a .371 averaged, .494 slugging percentage and .912 OPS. Her prowess at the plate was something that she started working on from an early age with her dad Todd. 

“He introduced me to the sport at a really young age,” Chaffin said. “I remember being like two years old and going outside with my little Nerf bat and ball and he would toss it up and I would try and hit it on the roof, that was the goal, hit it on the roof.  

“Ever since then he’s been right there with me through my playing career. He’s a little busier now because he has two girls playing collegiately, but I know I have his support and support from all my family and I love that we get to share this sport together.” 

Chaffin’s younger sister Raelin is a pitcher at LSU in her second year with the Tigers. LSU is hosting its own tournament this weekend meaning the Chaffin patriarch will see plenty of I-49 this weekend as he travels from their home in Bossier City to Baton Rouge and back to Natchitoches on Saturday. 

But even if work or schedules keep them from making the trips to see their little girls play in person, it is the thread of support and love that runs through the minds and hearts of the Demons every time they take the field. 

“I think they always feel worse than I do about not being able to make it to the games,” redshirt sophomore Maggie Darr said with a chuckle about her dad Walter and mom Lara not being able to make a game. “I’m always like it’s ok, it’s one game. But they’re there for everything for me. They’re my biggest supporters no matter what and always bring me back to the basics when things get hard. It is always so nice to look out there and see them when they are there and know that how much they support me.” 

Darr stands to make her 21st appearance on the season this weekend, most on the team, and likely her 11thstart, as she continues to work her way through a second full season as a key member of the NSU pitching staff.  

The hard work she put in during her redshirt season, a trait she’s seen in her father since she was little, helped her to a 9-3 record a season ago with already seven wins this year and the team lead in strikeout with 75. She ranks third in the conference in Ks entering the weekend. 

“He is one of the hardest workers I know,” Darr said. “He’s built everything himself his entire life and is always doing something different, never had just one job and always digging into something new. He works so hard at everything that he does, and I definitely look up to him for that.” 

Todd Chaffin and Walter Darr are just two of the many NSU softball dads that make weekend trips to Natchitoches, or farther, throughout the three-month season. They are also just two examples of the unending support, pride and love each player feels from all of the softball dads at Northwestern State. 

But no matter where they or any of the other NSU softball dads may be on any given weekend, in the stands cheering on their daughters or watching on ESPN+, the support that Makenzie, Maggie and all the Demons know they have from their dads is echoed to every other member of the team. 

“I’m just so blessed,” Chaffin said. “My family has always supported me no matter what. If I wanted to quit tomorrow, they would support me or if I wanted to try and play professional softball, they would support me. They’re my number one fans and always have my back. It’s just so special to have that relationship with my dad and my family. I know he’s proud of me and knowing that means the world.”