Northwestern State inks seven on opening day of signing period

NATCHITOCHES – Adding pitching depth was a main area of focus for Northwestern State softball coach Donald Pickett, and the Lady Demons satisfied that demand by signing three pitchers in a seven-member class Wednesday.


Pitchers Maggie Darr, Makenzie Seely and Heather Zook will add variety an options to the Lady Demons when they step in the circle in 2021.


“We’ll have only two returning arms that season, so that needed to be an important part of this signing class,” Pickett said. “All three pitchers have different styles and will add diversity to our bullpen.


“We also signed some good athletes that can play multiple positions as well as hit for power. All of these players have played on good teams, so they know what it takes to win.”


Position players include catcher Lexie Roos, infielder Chelsea Spain, outfielder Christiana Winger and utility player Taylor Williams.


Darr is ranked No. 177 in the 2020 Class by Extra Innings Softball and was a two-time all-district pitcher for a Ridge Point High School (Missouri City, Texas) team that averaged nearly 28 wins in her three seasons.


Darr stands at 6-foot-3, and pitching counterpart Seely will offer hitters at different angle of attack at 5-foot-5.


Seely is a district MVP at Whitney High School (Texas) that was selected pitcher of the year and is a three-time all-academic pick.


Zook was also a district MVP in the circle at New Diana High School (Texas).


“Seely throws really well, and she can change speeds and move it,” Pickett said. “Zook has a really good up pitch, and that will add something different for hitters to account for.


“Darr spins it really well and has great command. We’ve got a lot of diversity between the three arms.”


Roos should be a familiar name for NSU fans. Her older sister Kylie Roos was one of the best arms in Lady Demon history.


Roos is a second-team all-state catcher from Aubrey High School (Texas).


“We know what we’re getting from that family, and it’s been great for us,” Pickett said. “Lexie grew up around us, and she wanted to continue to be a part of this family.


“She does a good job behind the plate and brings some power.”


Spain led Purcell High to a state title and a runner-up in Oklahoma. She was named offensive and defensive player of the year as an infielder.


Williams is a three-time all-state and three-time All-Texoma performer from Tom Bean High School (Texas) that led her squad to the regionals twice.


“Both Spain and Williams are capable of being middle infielders, and they’re really competitive kids,” Pickett said. “They both played competitive high school ball and on great travel teams, and they can compete for spots in the lineup.


“They hit for power, can make things happen with their fit and make plays on defense.”


The outfielder Winger is a defensive MVP from Clear Brook High (Texas) that also was picked for all-district.


“Winger has a strong arm and good speed,” Pickett said. “She’s athletic and has a ton of potential.”


PHOTO CUTLINE: Northwestern State coach Donald Pickett inks seven players on the opening day of the signing period.


CREDIT: Gary Hardamon/NSU Photographic Services