HENRIETTA, TX (KAUZ) - Henrietta sophomore Haleigh Hogan tore her ACL 6 months ago, before a volleyball game.
"It was about thirty seconds before game time," she explained. "I went to jump serve and as soon as I was in the air, I hear, 'There is a ball underneath your leg!' So I come down on just one leg and I hit the ground."
"I wasn't playing with her at the time," said Henrietta senior Maddie Brown. "But I was there and it was very...It just made your heart drop. "You're like, 'Oh my gosh, like is she okay?'"
Following rehab and missing the first part of the softball season, Haleigh made her debut in a big district game for Henrietta against first-place Paradise.
"It was amazing," Hogan said. "Just so many different emotions going through. Like I don't even know how to explain it."
"Well her first game back she was super liked hyped up," Brown explained. "And she just wanted to go in there and do the best she could. You just had to make sure she was calm and just tell her to throw the ball, because she knows how to do it. "She knows she was kind of trying to throw too hard at some times, but you just had to calm her down and tell her she could do it and she was ready to go."
"When she got released on that Monday before Paradise, the atmosphere changed," said Henrietta softball head coach Billy Arbogast. "You know we had some confidence. We had our swagger back, because we knew that we were going to be competitive and it wasn't going to take 10 to 12 runs to win games. It was going to take 4 or 5."
Haleigh isn't just back playing, she has been playing great so far. After beating Paradise, she pitched a 1-hit shut out against the 13th ranked City View Lady Mustangs, and even she didn't expect to play so well so quickly.
"I kind of expected it to be a little rocky at first," said Hogan. "You know I haven't played since July, but it's been amazing. Like, the great team that we have right now, the emotions in the dugout, everything is back to the way it was last year."
"It's awesome. It's like a really good feeling to know that we have somebody in there that's going to throw with more speed and more movement," said Brown. "And it's really fun to come back and beat the teams that beat us the first round."
"Her coming out, she was amped up; she was ready to go," said coach Arbogast. "I don't know what she was throwing, but it was harder than she had probably ever thrown. She was just blowing them away it was just too much speed for them and for what they had prepared for, obviously. So we let her ride that out and it's kind of changed our season and changed our outlook on the year."