WELCH - Welch all-state pitcher Kalleigh Chrz has opted for Northeastern A&M.

Chrz, who helped the Lady Wildcats to two straight fast-pitch state tournaments, signed an NJCAA letter of intent Tuesday morning.

“It's close to home and I knew a lot of the girls who are playing there,” said Chrz. “I felt comfortable there. I am really excited.”

“She has thrown a lot of innings for us,” Welch coach Josh Schertz said. “She is durable and stays healthy. She will fit in well there - she will excel there.”

She had 1,196 strikeouts in her career, logging 61 shutouts and 23 no-hitters. Her career ERA was 0.33.

Offensively, she hit .413 with 175 hits and 108 RBI.

“I am going to have to work all summer and get ready,” Chrz said. “It's a big step but I think I can do it.”

Also signing with the Lady Norse on Tuesday was all-state infielder Maddalyn Fraley of Adair.

“That starts the signing process for us very well,” Lady Norse coach Eric Iverson said.

By signing with the Lady Norse, Chrz will be reunited with her former high school coach, Travis Norwood, when the pair were at Picher-Cardin.

When sports was dropped at PCHS two years ago, Chrz transferred to Welch when her father was named high school principal.

“It's really interesting how things work,” Norwood said. “You've got Bob (Bob Walker, formerly Picher-Cardin superintendent) over athletics now at NEO and these Picher kids (Chrz and former Lady Gorilla basketball player Kali Bassett) coming to NEO.”

“It's a pleasure to be back with him again,” Chrz said.

“She has a presence on the field,” Iverson said. “She will bring a lot to our program. She is a very well respected kid.”