Three Northside Christian softball standouts recently signed letters of intent to continue their careers on the next level.
Kelsey Gaspard (McNeese State), Makenzie Droddy (UAB) and Morgan Louviere (Angelina Junior College) were instrumental in Northside's 9-1 start last season before COVID-19 canceled the rest of the spring sports season.
"Kelsey is a tremendous asset in all aspects of the game," Northside Christian coach Ryan Hanagriff said. "She's a wonderful kid who works really hard, and it shows. It's obvious.
"She's a very intense, aggressive player who was recruited primarily as a catcher and third baseman. She played more shortstop for us, especially after Makenzie transferred here from Iota."
As a sophomore, Gaspard had a .669 batting average and was named Class C first-team all-state. She was also an all-state selection as a freshman.
"Kelsey is a very smart hitter," Hanagriff said. "She doesn't make a lot of mistakes. She's strong, focuses on angles and is considered a power hitter."
As a freshman at Iota, Droddy recorded a .533 batting average with 17 home runs and 63 RBIs and was intentionally walked 17 times.
"Makenzie had to sit out her sophomore year after she transferred," Hanagriff said. "She's a big, strong, very athletic kid with a super-strong arm. She's a great threat behind the plate and at the plate."
Hanagriff said Droddy can throw the ball upwards of 80 miles per hour, which poses a huge challenge to opponents who are thinking about stealing a base.
"At the plate, she can make a mistake and still muscle the ball out of the park," Hanagriff said. "The kids look up to her. She's a great leader who has played on the highest level of travel softball every weekend where she's playing and practicing with the best of the best."
Louviere was 8-0 last spring with 52 strikeouts in 35 innings and a 0.80 ERA before the season abruptly ended.
"A couple of Division I schools took a look at Morgan, but she decided to play JUCO first and then try to get her last two years at a bigger school," Hanagriff said.
"She does a great job in the circle as a power pitcher with five-to-six different pitches that she uses. She can run it up to 65 mph and she has a knuckle change that drops off the table. Her changeup is deadly."
Hanagriff is optimistic that his talented team will get the opportunity to play a full season.
"It's been very tough with COVID-19," he said. "Last year, we had just as good a chance as anybody to make it. We'd been to Sulphur the last three years.
"We were the Division V runner-up in 2017. In 2018, we won it and we lost in the finals in a heartbreaker in 2019. Our plans were to get back and take the trophy home last year. The kids were heartbroken."