Litumbe says she did not think it was that bad at first. Even when the team was in the airport waiting for their flight back to Atlanta that night, she felt she had just tweaked something.
The swelling got a lot worse when we boarded the plane. The pain intensified. That's when I started worrying that it was more serious than I thought.
At the doctor on Monday, Litumbe got an x-ray and MRI on her left knee. After a three-day wait, the doctor called Litumbe back in to explain the results.
Torn ACL, meniscus. Doctor said I basically blew out my whole knee. I couldn't believe it. I was shocked.
It didn't really sink in that I was missing the whole season until practice later that week. I was in the dugout watching my teammates and it sunk in. I just broke down right there in the dugout.
Entering that season, Litumbe was coming off a 21-home run campaign as a sophomore. It was the second most home runs in a single season in Georgia State history. After just two seasons, she already ranked sixth in school history with 31 career homers.
After spending six weeks on crutches, Litumbe began her long journey to get back in uniform.
It was nerve-wracking when I tried walking without crutches for the first time. I had to walk normal, I couldn’t limp because that hurts your muscle development. I lost a lot of muscle in my left leg. Our strength coach Jacob had special workouts for me to help regain strength in my left leg.
The home run numbers began to rise. Three in three games against Sun Belt-foe Appalachian State. Then another at Georgia Tech on March 29th. After homers in three straight games against UT Arlington and Kennesaw State, Litumbe found herself within two of the Georgia State career record.
At Coastal Carolina on April 14th, Litumbe launched her 42nd career home run, tying teammate Ivie Drake for the school record.
Ivie and I really push each other to be as good as we possibly can. It helps both of us and it helps the team.
In her next at-bat, she bombed her 12th home run of the season and 43rd of her career to grab the lead for GSU's all-time record.
From that point on, the pace that Litumbe was sending balls out of the park increased.
After three home runs in three games, Litumbe was honored by the Sun Belt Conference as the Player of the Week on May 2nd, yet another milestone on her comeback journey.
I wasn't sure how good I would be after the injury. Some people come back stronger, some people don't come back as good. I wanted to come back stronger and better than before.
As the team headed into the conference tournament, Litumbe ranked second in the Sun Belt with 18 home runs, just four short of tying the GSU single-season record and three short of tying her personal single-season mark.
One of my goals coming off the injury was to make All-Sun Belt. That was a really proud moment because I really felt like I was 100% back to my normal self.