Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Celina wins 3A softball title: pitcher admits 'I was really scared'
AUSTIN — The ending unfolded the way state championships are supposed to, an It’s a Wonderful Life quality scene of jubilation erupting in live time.
Celina pitcher Katelyn Drummond struck out a West batter, clinching the victory and waiting for a mob of teammates to engulf her.
Celina had won Saturday’s Class 3A softball state final against West, 5-1, in routine fashion at Red & Charline McCombs Field. Good pitching, timely hitting and then, yes, that celebration.
It really wasn’t so easy.
“When I woke up,” Drummond said, “I was really scared.”
When Drummond woke up, she could barely see. Her right eye was nearly swollen shut.
The night before, she had complained to her mother of slight pain. Drummond thought nothing of it.
Carefree had morphed into panic by morning. She told her roommates and then went straight to the coaches and trainer.
She took Ibuprofen, which led to a headache. She took migraine medicine, and she took an antibiotic. No one could pinpoint the cause of the eye problem.
Game time rolled around and her head still hurt. Her vision wasn’t perfect. And she had to wear sunglasses that poked into her bad eye.
Catcher Paige Mongillo provided the encouragement. She allayed Drummond’s fears before the game and as it went on.
“I told her, ‘You got this,’-” Mongillo said.
Mongillo also picked her up offensively. Her two-out single in the first drove in Celina’s first run. A two-out single in the third drove in another run. That third-inning rally, which included an RBI from title game MVP Shelby Carter, gave Celina (36-6-3) a 3-1 lead.
It also gave Drummond confidence. She admitted to not having her best stuff at the beginning.
As the game wore on, she improved. In the sixth, she recorded her first 1-2-3 inning and first strikeout. The seventh followed the same pattern, 1-2-3 punctuated with that strikeout, that ending.
Drummond (30-6), who finished with a five-hitter, was the last one off the field when the game ended and Celina had won its first state title in softball. She wore an ice pack on her right forearm.
The swelling had receded on her eye. A few hours and a championship had turned the problem into a small bump.
“It feels good now,” she said.
Danbury 9, Nacogdoches Central Heights 1: Kaylee Garner (27-3) allowed one hit and one run while striking out 15 in six innings, and Britiany Bailey went 3-for-3 with an RBI to help Danbury (39-3) win the Class 2A state title.
Shiner 1, Grapeland 0: Ashely Shiumek (24-0) pitched a two-hit shutout, and Ryah Michalec drove in the only run in the sixth inning as Shiner (32-4) won the Class A final.