EA pitcher Jessie Watts commits to UL-Monroe
The East Ascension Lady Spartan program has continued to turn out college softball players over the years and as of last week, they added another name to the list.
Their junior ace Jessie Watts committed to UL-Monroe after taking her official visit last week. Along with Claire Weinberger--who has already committed to LSU--East Ascension now has two juniors on their roster that are set to be future Division-I softball players.
"It's really cool. They're (UL-Monroe) all about playing for each other," Watts said. "It's a good college, and I'm really excited about playing there. Hopefully, we can win a lot of games."
Watts is no stranger to winning. She has been the Lady Spartans' top pitcher ever since her freshman season.
In her first year as a starting pitcher, she helped lead East Ascension to the playoffs and last season, her and the Lady Spartans made an impressive run to the state quarterfinals.
Watts' head coach Amy Pitre was happy to see that all of her hard work has paid off.
"She's a hard worker and a great role model to the younger girls on the team," Pitre said.
Despite having more than a year of high school softball left, Watts decided on the commitment after a very enjoyable trip to Monroe.
"I liked the atmosphere there, how everybody knows each other. I just really liked the feel of it," Watts said.
She's now glad that the whole recruitment process is over so she can enjoy the rest of this season.
"I'm very relieved. It was so stressful, and I'm just glad to get it over with," Watts said.
Since she took the circle during her freshman year, Watts has steadily gotten better and proven that she's one of the best pitchers in the area.
Last season, she went 24-9 as a starter. This included a no-hitter.
During the playoffs, she threw a one-hitter in a win over Destrehan. It helped East Ascension make a run to the state quarterfinals.
On the strength of that run, Watts was a first-team All-District 5-5A selection. She also made the All-Metro squad, and she was honorable mention All-State.
"She really sets the tone for us in the circle," Pitre said. "She's kind of a silent leader because she gets out there and just does her job, and a lot of what we do is based on her. When she has a great game, we know that we're going to have a great game. We really go as she goes."
As great as last season was for Watts and the Lady Spartans, it had a brutally painful ending.
After a huge lead was squandered in their quarterfinal matchup, their year ended with a heartbreaking 11-10 loss to eventual state champion Ouachita Parish.
Watts and the Lady Spartans are driven to get that bad taste out of their mouths and finish the job in Sulphur this time around. She's confident that they have what it takes to earn a state championship.
When asked if they were inspired to compete for a title, Watts quickly replied, "We're gonna get it this year. There's no 'ifs' about it."
The Lady Spartans have certainly looked the part of a championship-caliber team thus far.
Last week, they locked up a big district victory when they beat Dutchtown, 3-2. The win was their fourth straight, and it boosted their overall record to 11-3.