When it comes to being a winner, Austin High senior Danielle “Nelly” Serna personifies the qualities it takes to be one.
Head softball coach Kristen Lozano said the team's pitcher embodies a relentless work ethic, mental toughness, physical power and, most importantly, leadership.
“Her 5-feet,10-inch presence is intimidating but it is her ability to command the field in every situation,” Lozano said. “She brings out the best in every player.”
This season, Serna helped lead the Austin High Lady Maroons to a tie for the District 25-6A championship with Hays High School, and propelled them to the second round of the playoffs after a first-round victory over New Braunfels.
Serna said she shares a connection with her teammates that is integral in the Lady Maroons’ success this season.
“No matter what happens—on or off the field, win or lose—we will always be family and have each other's back through thick or thin,” she said. “I am grateful to have been able to share such a special bond with such an amazing team.”
Serna may be near the end of one chapter of her career, but the passion for softball she discovered at age 3 is taking her to the next level.
While she said she wants her high school career to continue with a deep run to the state tournament, she also will continue with the sport she loves at NCAA Division I school Colorado State University. Serna has received a full scholarship to attend Colorado State and join their softball team.
Her focus at the moment is on the next opponent and the next round, and memories with teammates waiting to be made. Regardless of the result, Serna said she is grateful for her time in an Austin High uniform.
“It makes all the blood sweat and tears worthwhile knowing that my teammates will always be family,” she said.
Serna and her teammates continue their playoff run this week in a best-of-three series against San Antonio Warren.
Area Round 25-6A Series
- May 2: Austin vs SA Warren at San Marcos High School, 7 p.m.
- May 3: Austin vs SA Warren at San Marcos HS, 7 p.m.
- May 4: Austin vs SA Warren at San Marcos HS, 2 p.m. (if needed)