When asked to explain how her softball career took off over the past three years, Mary-Cathryn Comeaux offers a concise and unassuming response.

“Three years ago, when I was a freshman, the thing I worried about was whether I would be the starting center fielder,” Comeaux said. “More than anything else, I wanted to help my team win a state title, but the rest of what has happened … I never expected it.”

Comeaux soon moved from center field to become the center of attention as a pitcher who helped lead Brusly High School to the Class 3A title this spring. Already the Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year and the Outstanding Player on the LSWA Class 3A All-State team, the Southeastern Louisiana signee added the top award — the Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance/LSWA Miss Softball award.

“This year, MC became one of the best, if not the best, pitcher in the state,” Parkview Baptist coach Ashlee Weems said.

“But there is more to her game than that. Over the last two years she also became one of the most dangerous hitters you’ll face, which I think helped her confidence when she pitched. All of it factored into Brusly winning its state title.”

Comeaux led the Panthers to their first 3A softball title since 2013. She finished 25-1 with a 0.56 ERA and 288 strikeouts in 163 innings. She batted .500 with 17 doubles, 10 home runs, 29 runs scored and 36 RBIs.

“MC is one of the hardest workers we have had in the program,” Brusly coach Beau Bouvier said. “She did whatever we asked of her and more. She also was a great leader.”

Comeaux’s road to success started early with pitching lessons from former Brusly coach Julie Mayeux, who later served as her pitching coach for the Panthers.

“MC is special … she’s a very cerebral pitcher who thinks (about) the game and studies it,” Mayeux said. “Not all pitchers do that. When she was a little girl, I could demonstrate the different spins you can put on a pitch. She mastered it by the next time I saw her. If I was working with somebody else, she would sit on the bench and practice spinning the ball.”

The multiple spins she commands, along with her competitiveness, are defining traits for Comeaux, said Denham Springs coach Leslie Efferson-Yellott, herself a former pitcher.

“I think she is one of the best dual-threat players around … a great pitcher and hitter. The control she has on all the different spins is so impressive,” Efferson-Yellott said.

“She can throw a pitch in a spot with one spin and then put then spin on the next one a different way and put it within an inch of where the first one was. There are pitchers who throw harder, but only a few can do what she does control-wise.”

Nagging injuries were issues for Comeaux before her senior season, but the biggest obstacle were some nagging doubts that followed a quarterfinal playoff exit for a Brusly team that was the top 3A seed in 2018.

“As a team, we believed we could win a title, but we knew it would not be easy,” Comeaux said of the 2019 team. “We all wanted it so bad and we were determined. In the final game, every pitch counted. I couldn’t let up. We didn’t let up. Winning … it was the best feeling.”

Miss Softball winners

1996: Ashley Lewis, Central

1997: Ashleigh Ivey, Barbe-Lake Charles

1998: Micah Barbato, Lafayette

1999: Mandy Mullins, Sacred Heart-Ville Platte

2000: Sarah Meadors, Denham Springs

2001: Beth Provost, Teurlings Catholic

2002: Beth Provost, Teurlings Catholic

2003: Britni Bowen, Sterlington

2004: Leah Heintze, St. Amant

2005: Kellie Eubanks, St. Amant

2006: Ashley Brignac, John Curtis

2007: Ashley Brignac, John Curtis

2008: Lauren Crane, Vandebilt Catholic

2009: Lauren Wilson, Belle Chasse

2010: Christina Hamilton, Rosepine

2011: Courtney Ivey, Oak Hill

2012: Baylee Corbello, Sam Houston

2013: Baylee Corbello, Sam Houston

2014: Katie Brignac, John Curtis

2015: Tanner Wright, Sam Houston

2016: Bailey Hemphill, St. Thomas More

2017: Emma Callie Delafield, North DeSoto

2018: Abby Allen, Ouachita Parish

2019: Mary-Cathryn Comeaux, Brusly

Email Robin Fambrough at rfambrough@theadvocate.com