Aly Delafield now healthy, ready to lead North DeSoto in LHSAA softball playoffs
Aly Delafield isn’t sure when it happened, but she knew she was tired of suffering with its affects.
It seems the standout North DeSoto pitcher and infielder broke her left kneecap at some point during workouts late last year and was forced to have surgery this spring. As one of the best players on the best Class 4A team in Louisiana, Delafield’s absence was noticeable. Although the Lady Griffins’ depth allowed them to keep winning, they weren’t as dominate as they were with Delafield in the lineup.
“I played with it broken for two or more months thinking I had tendinitis,” Delafield said. “I remember going to the doctor and being really nervous. But I was happy to hear that my kneecap was broken and that nothing was torn.”
Initially slated to miss just a week of action, the junior was sidelined for a month because her leg was too weak.
GOOD OR BAD: How will NIL deals for prep athletes affect things?
MISS BASKETBALL: Parkway's Mikaylah Williams wins LSWA's top award
“Luckily, I had great physical therapists who pushed me so I could get back as soon as possible,” said Delafield, the younger sister of Emma Callie Delafield, who pitched North DeSoto to three state titles before playing collegiately at Northwestern State. Another sister, Elizabeth, pitched at Arkansas-Monticello.
Mom Rachel Delafield said her "baby girl" never complained throughout the process.
“She just said it was little sore and thought resting it over Christmas break would help,” Rachel said. “She wore a brace for couple of weeks but never had any relief, so being Mom of The Year, I finally decided we better go to the doctor.”
Delafield was told in February she needed surgery.
“It really only hurt when I ran,” she said. “I wasn’t able to run as fast as usual.”
She played in the Lady Griffins’ first game of 2022, a 6-4 win over Ruston, but was then absent until a March 10 game against District 1-4A foe Northwood.
The surgery on her left knee removed the broken part of the knee cap. Delafield woke up from surgery in a lot of pain and was scared she’d miss her entire junior season. But she was determined to be back on the field in two to three weeks.
“She embraced this as a challenge and met it head on,” Rachel said. “She was at physical therapy four days after surgery and the therapist had her jogging and jumping. We got ready to leave and she said, ‘I think blood is running down my leg.’
"She had busted her stitches, which is the only thing that kept her off the field an extra week.”
Since returning to the lineup, Delafield has hit three home runs and has a .500-plus batting average. She also picked up three wins in the pitcher's circle.
Delafield and her cohorts won the 2021 LHSAA Class 4A state title and are the No. 1 seed this spring. They opened postseason play Friday with a 15-0 victory over Tara with Delafield getting two hits in two trips to the plate.
They’ll play the winner of Tuesday’s Rayne-Leesville game later this week.
Delafield never stopped helping her teammates when she was out with an injury.
“I think her absence allowed some young kids to gain valuable experience,” North DeSoto coach Tim Whitman said. “Aly was also a valuable mentor to a lot of them while she was out.”
Now back to about 100%, Delafield is driving her team to perfection.
“It has been so much fun,” she said. “I am so happy to be back with my best friends doing what I love.”
Jimmy Watson covers Shreveport-Bossier area sports. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @JimmyWatson6.