Putting opponents on the spot is nothing new for Brusly pitcher Mary-Cathryn Comeaux. She struck out 288 batters while helping the Panthers win the Class 3A title last month.
Being put on the spot — and the spotlight — is still something that catches Comeaux by surprise. It happened Thursday morning when Comeaux learned she was selected as the Gatorade Louisiana Softball Player of the Year.
"It is unbelievable," Comeaux said. "I never imagined that I would receive anything like this. To win an award like this ... it's just amazing. To be honest, it's hard to put it all into words. This is special."
Comeaux, who led the Panthers to a 35-2 record and the Class 3A title, is the first Brusly player to win the Gatorade honor. She finished 25-1 with a 0.56 earned run average. She had just 14 walks in 163 innings. Comeaux allowed only 57 hits and tossed three no-hitters. At the plate, the three-time first-team all-state selection batted .500 with 17 doubles, 10 home runs, 36 RBIs and a .922 slugging percentage.
Winning the Louisiana Gatorade honor makes Comeaux, a Southeastern Louisiana University signee, eligible to win Gatorade’s National Player of the Year honor that will be announced in June.
Comeaux's softball honor gives Baton Rouge a baseball/softball sweep. Cade Doughty of Denham Springs won the Gatorade Louisiana Baseball Player of the Year last week. Much like Doughty, Comeaux got an early wake-up call from her mother, who suggested she check her email, which included a congratulations/notification about the Gatorade honor that follows a season that ended with Brusly winning its first LHSAA softball title since 2013.
"I think the thing I'm going to remember about all of this, the season and awards, is getting to share it with my teammates, friends and family," Comeaux said.
Comeaux joins recent Gatorade Louisiana Softball players of the year Kennedy Hebert (2017-18, Morgan City), Emma Callie (EC) Delafield (2016-17, North DeSoto ), Jensen Howell (2015-16, Menard), Kara Gremillion (2014-15, St. Amant ) and Katie Brignac (2013-14, John Curtis) on a distinguished list.
“Mary-Cathryn is an extremely hard worker with great attention to detail,” Brusly coach Beau Bouvier, said in a news release. “She understands spins, counts and hitter placement. She is a competitor but has great composure at the plate and on the mound.”
The Gatorade honor recognizes athletic excellence, academic achievement and character demonstrated on and off the field.
Comeaux has maintained a weighted 4.09 grade-point average in the classroom. She was a member of the Brusly High student council, has volunteered locally as part of fundraising campaigns to benefit cancer research, and she has donated her time as a youth softball coach. She also received The Advocate's Girls Athlete of the Year award last week.
As a part of Gatorade’s marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Comeaux also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of 12, $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.