There are two things Northwestern State softball head coach Donald Pickett is looking for this weekend. When his team takes the field for a three intersquad scrimmages Saturday and Sunday, Pickett wants to see confidence and aggressiveness.
The Lady Demons will play a total of three games this weekend – a doubleheader Saturday and one final scrimmage Sunday – and fans are welcome to attend. Saturday’s pair of games begin at 1 p.m., span five innings each with about 20-30 minutes between each contest. Sunday’s seven-inning affair starts at 12 p.m.
“Physically, we have a lot of talented kids on this team, so the big thing is the approach to the game,” Pickett said. “I want to see them being confident and aggressive in everything they’re doing.”
The Lady Demons have participated in full fall practices for the last few weeks. That’s nothing new. What is new, however, is the way in which NSU is practicing.
COVID-19 has made day-to-day activities quite different from years past. But that alteration hasn’t stopped the Lady Demons from improving and growing as a unit, and that credits goes to the leaders on the team.
“The team has been able to adapt to not only the COVID situation, but also to the new routine,” Pickett said. “We’ve got a lot of kids that have been around here for a few years, and they’re used to a routine that has been the same way every year. Now that’s been turned upside down. The coaches have had to adjust to that as have the players.
“We’ve had a lot of good leadership, and that’s paid off during this time.”
A good portion of that leadership had their spring season shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. NSU played 22 games in 2019 – sporting a 15-7 record – and began Southland Conference play with a three-game sweep of Sam Houston State.
The hot start to the season made the abrupt end to it that much more disappointing. That has made for an even more competitive fall ball period, and the team is looking forward to a weekend of game-like scenarios.
“It has been awhile since we’ve played some games,” Pickett said. “We’ve had two shortened versions of intersquad scrimmages so far, and the girls are excited about the weekend, and I’m looking forward to kind of seeing where we are at right now.”