Injured pitcher encourages use of face mask

A Georgetown softball pitcher is circulating photos of her black and blue eye online.

Perhaps you’ve seen it. After taking a line drive to the face, she and her mom are on a mission to convince other players to wear protective face masks.

The wind up of the pitcher, the crack of the bat, the ball in the catcher’s glove... All classic sounds of the ball field. The last time Nanas Limon stepped into the circle there was a wicked interruption in the game that her mother wishes she could forget. "It was loud," said mom Melissa Limon.

“It was the championship game. I think it was the third inning, the first batter she actually hit a line drive right at me. I stopped it with my glove and got her out and you know the next thing i was going to get my mask, that’s too close. And the next batter hit it right at me," said Nanas Limon.

Nanas was struck just below her right eye. "I actually tried to find the ball to get her out, but I reached down and the pain beat me there and I fell on my knees," said Nanas.

“I knew that she was severely hurt," said Melissa. "I saw her and it’s just what no mother wants to see. There was blood everywhere and she was screaming.”

These are photos of Nanas in the hospital. Her eye was swollen shut.

She needed ten stitches, but there were no broken bones. "God was with me. He really was," said Nanas. "I'm really surprised I didn’t break anything because it hit me really hard. He was protecting me."

Nanas did not want to chance another injury.

She decided she would never play in the infield again without a mask.

She wanted others to join her. She and her mother circulated her photos on social media. "I want people to know that wearing a face mask does not mean that you’re not as good as people who don’t wear face masks, it doesn’t make you a wimp to wear a face mask it just makes you more smart about it," said Nanas.

UIL rules only require offensive players to wear the protective gear.

Face masks are currently considered optional for defensive positions.

Melissa says after witnessing Nana’s injury, the Georgetown All Star team will require all infielders to wear face masks. The coach of the Liberty Hill team plans to urge the youth league to make the same rule change.

Melissa hopes other leagues will encourage players to use the protection.

"It costs less than the ER visit, for sure. And it’s just not worth taking that risk out there because honestly it could’ve been so much worse," said Melissa. "It felt really bad. I don’t know how to explain it. I would never want anyone, or myself to feel that ever again," said Nanas.

Face masks cost $15 dollars and up. The one Nanas wore for our interview was $20.

She gets her stitches out in a couple days. She hopes to join the team for Regionals next weekend.