MANSFIELD -- Mansfield Timberview pitcher Mariah Denson has plantar fasciitis, and that's not even the worst injury she's had since coming to high school.

As a freshman, she Mariah two months wearing a back brace 23 hours a day.

'It was pretty serious,' said Timberview head coach Donya Mooney. 'She came in as a freshman in a back brace. They had told her she probably wouldn't pitch again.'

'It hurts sometimes, but it doesn't hurt like it used to hurt,' Mariah said.

Now her back is better, but her foot is not. She needs to stay off it for six weeks to let it heal, but Timberview is in the middle of a deep playoff run.

'Even if the doctor told me I wasn't playing, I was still going to play,' Mariah said.

Her teammates see how hard it is for her when she limps in-between pitches.

'We know it hurts, but she's pitching through it,' said centerfielder Baylea Higgs. 'She's so mentally strong and mentally there.'

'She just gives it all for her team, and that's what I love,' said Mayan Mezatovar, an outfielder. 'She's a great teammate and I wouldn't have any other pitcher but her.'

When Mariah isn't playing, the sophomore is either wearing a walking boot or rolling through the school hallways in a wheelchair.

'Because during the game she'll start hurting herself, so you have to save all the extra pain for the game,' said catcher Ashley Timmons.

'All through school, I'm in a wheelchair, or I switch to crutches,' Mariah said. 'Then I go home and I have crutches or I just hop around.'

Mariah's tenacity is matched only by her talent. She's 25-3 inside the circle, and her batting average is up near .500.

She's so good that she committed to Oklahoma State as an 8th grader.

'If it's a school you like, and you like it there, there's no point in waiting,' Mariah said.

And there's no point in sitting, no matter how much it hurts. Not with a state championship within reach.


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