Best friends lead softball to shot at second title


As two of the oldest members on the softball team, Jennifer Davis and Krystal Gibson have been a key part in continuing last seasons’ unprecedented success. Their strong friendship and leadership skills have undoubtedly helped the Lady Roadrunners ravage one of the toughest schedules in the country.

The Roadrunners have had their work cut out for them. They have the 86th toughest schedule in the country out of 269 teams, and have played top ranking teams including Arizona State (21), Texas A&M ( 7/5), Nebraska ( 25) and Texas ( 4/4). Even with a tremendous amount of pressure to excel, Davis and Gibson have rallied behind each other to get through.

“It helps that we’ll keep each other up if we’re having a bad game or a bad day we can usually make the other one laugh about it,” Davis said.

Having met in 2002, Davis and Gibson do everything together. From having the same classes to hanging out after school, being inseparable has had its advantages on the field.

“We look at each other [when we’re on the field], we laugh, it keeps us relaxed,” Davis said.

Together, Gibson and Davis have played a sum of 416 games, 389 of which they have started in, totaled 230 runs, 417 hits and 67 homeruns. The team has profited immensely from their success. Along with their homeruns, the Roadrunners have steadily increased the number of homeruns this season; 7 shy away from tying last year’s Southland Conference record of 101. The Roadrunners have kept their hopes alive for repeating last years’ season. They clinched a 3 game series with UT Arlington in a 10-1 win securing their place of second in the SLC. The win brought their overall record to 37-15 and 18-5 in the SLC, with an upcoming home match against Sam Houston.

Gibson and Davis can be seen as an inspiration for the team. During her freshman year, Davis broke her wrist but still managed to make no errors in the 2001 season. Along with her wrist, Davis has had every injury imaginable including a painful tear to her ACL which she took a medical redshirt for, allowing her further eligibility as a sophomore.

“I tore my knee out, had 3 concussions and broke my wrist in the middle of my freshman season,” Davis said.

But despite the plethora of injuries, Davis earned a spot on the second-team All-SLC her sophomore and junior year and is a likely candidate for the 2005 season.

After Davis injured her knee, she had to adapt to the loss of speed and was relocated to a new position which she has claimed as her own.

“I played center field before I tore my knee but then I wasn’t as fast so I was moved to right field,” Davis said. “I’ve played right [field] for so long that it’s kind of like my little home out there. I like it.”

Davis was also named Hitter of the Week by the SLC twice this season (March 8 & April 11) with a batting average of .389. On March 6, Davis went 5 for 5, breaking a former team standard of four and securing a landslide victory over Western Michigan. Davis is a mere triple away from breaking the school record set by Shannon Steadman in 1993.

This will be Davis’s last year as a player, but will continue to help the Roadrunners in the future.

“I’m going help out next year as a 5th year coach,” Davis said.

As for Gibson, the three time All SLC selection on first base–twice as a first teamer–regards her position as essential for providing leadership for the team.

“I think [first base] is very important as far as infield goes, it serves as a leadership position,” Gibson said.

Gibson has appeared on 16 career offensive and three career fielding top ten lists. Her grasp on yet another All SLC selection is foreseeable.

Gibson has a career high 227 hits, 45 career doubles, 129 career runs, 42 career home runs and 88 career extra base hits–all which are close to breaking several career records.

Gibson credits her achievements to hard work and a strenuous practice schedule which includes daily practices and lifting weights twice a week.

“I’d say my work ethic, just hitting, defense, all that kind of stuff, everything together has helped,” Gibson said.

Gibson was named Hitter of the Week (March 28) and boasts the highest On-Base Percentage on the team with .425.

As for the finance major, she graduates in May–hopefully with another SLC Championship under her belt.

Both seniors have succeeded in making UTSA nationally known and making it a NCAA leader in home runs per game and slugging percentage.

In the SLC, the Roadrunners also rank first in batting average (.339), slugging percentage(.586), on-base percentage (.394), runs scored (336), hits (476), runs batted in (310), home runs (94), and total bases (823).

The Roadrunners will return to action on May 30 when they take on first ranked Sam Houston State. The Roadrunners are guaranteed at least a second place standing in conference and will hit the road May 6-8 for the SLC championships in Hammond, La.