San Marcos' Melanie Castilla signs with Southwestern University

Photo by Nick Castillo

San Marcos Softball

Melanie Castilla set three goals for herself during her freshman year - Make varsity during her freshman season, start as a freshman, and sign to play college softball. 

The San Marcos senior, who played her first season as a Lady Rattler during her junior campaign in 2017 after arriving from Hutto, quickly accomplished her first two goals. 

Castilla crossed her third goal off her list Friday when she signed with Southwestern University at a signing ceremony at San Marcos High School. Castilla joked that she was signing her life way, but made it clear that it’s a dream come true. 

“I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time,” Castilla said. 

Castilla has been playing softball since she was eight years old. It was her father Jaime Castilla, who played baseball while growing up, that got her into the game. Melanie has been playing both high school softball  with San Marcos and select ball with the Texas Bombers. Jaime said that his daughter has a love for the game and to watch her sign to play with Southwestern is unbelievable. 

“It’s really been a dream and now it’s happening,” Jaime Castilla said. “It means everything.”

Melanie had drawn offers from Sterling College, Lubbock Christian University and Jarvis Christian College, and was receiving attention from Ranger College and the University of Houston-Victoria. But she knew Southwestern was where she wanted to commit to after visiting campus. 

“It just felt like home,” said Melanie Castilla, who plans to major in education and minor in communication studies. “I went on my first visit and I was ready to commit.”

San Marcos head softball coach Cathy Stoughton said it’s been a blessing to coach Melanie. 

 “She really embodies everything that you want in an athlete," Stoughton said. "Not just the physical aspects but she has tremendous athletic ability. She has a great feel for the game. She has a good mind for the game. She’s a smart ballplayer. But she’s also a student. She’s got strong character. She’s positive. She’s the kind of person that doesn't let mistakes get to her. She’s the person that would go over and pick someone up if they were having a rough game. She gives you 100 percent no matter what kind of game she’s having, what kind of day she’s having.”

Melanie said she’ll likely play second base or shortstop at Southwestern. Stoughton believes Melanie will be able to contribute as soon as she arrives. 

“I think she can compete for some starting time maybe even as a freshman because of the ability she has and the coachability,” Stoughton said. “You have athletes that are super talented but they may not be coachable. She’s very coachable, and not that she needs much because she’s pretty good at what she does, but she’s willing to do anything it takes to make the team better. She’s very unselfish. And I think going to a program like (Southwestern), she can make an impact even as a freshman just by being Mel.” 

Melanie has one last season with the Lady Rattlers, and after signing on Friday, she can just focus on playing the game. 

“Now it’s just the fun part,” Melanie Castilla said. “It’s always been fun, but now I don’t have to worry about whether coaches are there. I know I have somewhere to go.” 

San Marcos Daily Record

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