“Tara has been an excellent offensive member since she's been here,” said head coach Donald Pickett. “We're very excited for her and the upcoming season.”
McKenney earned All-Southland Conference second-team and SLC All-Academic second-team accolades for the 2012 season. The senior shortstop led the Lady Demons and finished third in the conference with 58 hits and a .358 batting average.
In the team poll, the Lady Demons were picked to finish sixth for the 2013 season, as voted on by coaches and sports information directors throughout the conference.
Sam Houston State was favored to bring home the conference crown, followed by McNeese and Central Arkansas.
“Regardless of the most recent poll, I think conference play is going to be very competitive this season,” said Pickett.
NSU will kick-off the 2013 season on the road Feb. 8 at the ULM Mardi Gras Classic as they face Mississippi Valley State.
The Lady Demons open up home play as they host the Natchitoches Historic Commission Lady Demon Invitational beginning March 1.
The conference season begins March 9 at McNeese with the first home Southland series the next weekend, March 16-17, against Nicholls. League play shifts back to the traditional three-game series this year, with a Saturday doubleheader and a Sunday finale.
The Lady Demons host the conference tournament May 9-10 at the Lady Demon Diamond. The construction of a brand new grandstand, concession stand and press box has begun, and will be completed during the season.