Northwestern State inks five for softball to begin early signing period
NATCHITOCHES — After a large and diverse recruiting class this past season, Northwestern State coach Donald Pickett didn’t have a long list of recruiting needs.
So Pickett and his staff focused on key talent and players who could play multiple positions in NSU’s five-member signing class Wednesday.
East Texas was particularly good to the Lady Demons as three of the five signees hail from that area.
Catcher Alexis Perry (Wylie High School), pitcher Bronte Rhoden (Plano Senior High) and outfielder Sierra Stone (Garland High School) call East Texas home.
Local utility player Madison Holmes (Natchitoches Central) will stay close to home to be a Lady Demon, joining Louisiana native infielder Sydni Larriviere (Acadiana High).
Perry (Dallas Metroplex Co-Offensive Player of the Year) and Rhoden (Dallas Metroplex Pitcher of the Year) each took home top area honors as juniors.
Perry is a Texas Girls Coaches Association all-state performer and is a three-time all-district member.
“Alexis is a smart player behind the plate who has physical tools,” Pickett said. “We’re looking forward to see her develop and see what she can become.
“She has a good release behind the plate, and she brings a lot more depth to the catcher position, which we need.”
Rhoden is a power pitcher who is a two-time all-district player and three-time academic all-district performer.
“We’re excited to have Bronte, and we’re looking for her to do great things,” Pickett said. “She moves the ball around well and is a competitive kid in the circle.
“She had a great high school season last year and plays on a great travel ball team (Texas Glory Adkins Allen 18U Gold).”
Stone is a district offensive MVP and a two-time all-district performer in her first three seasons at Garland High.
“Sierra is a smart, competitive player,” Pickett said. “We’ll have depth in the outfield with the departure of Sidney Salmans after this season.
“Sierra improves every time out, and we definitely wanted her from a leadership standpoint.”
Holmes was an asset at the plate and in the circle for the Lady Chiefs.
She got on base at a .493 clip (.310 batting average) and struck out 327 batters in 320 innings.
“Madison is a local kid that wanted to be a part of this program, and she’s got some tools to help add depth to the pitching staff,” Pickett said. “She loves NSU and Natchitoches, and I’m excited to have another local kid in the program.”
Pickett called Acadiana’s Larriviere a “pure second baseman,” highlighted by her all-state honor and two-time All-Metro and All-Acadiana honors.
“We’re excited to have another in-state kid,” Pickett said. “She’s really athletic, and she could help us in the circle too.
“She could be a utility player that helps us in a lot of different ways.”
Pickett expects to sign another handful of players during the early signing period, which ends Nov. 15.
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