Jessica RogersJennifer Davis
UTSA's Jessica Rogers and Jennifer Davis

Southland Conference softball showdown this weekend at Roadrunner Field

(April 26, 2005)--The Southland Conference regular season championship will be on the line as first place Sam Houston State (26-20, 19-4) visits defending champion UTSA (37-16, 18-5) for a three-game series this weekend at Roadrunner Field.

A doubleheader on Saturday begins at 1 p.m., followed by a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m. in which UTSA's senior class of Jennifer Davis, Jessica Ellison, Krystal Gibson and J.J. McQueen will be honored beforehand.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children. UTSA students are admitted free with a valid UTSACard.

For live stats and audio for all three games, go to the UTSA Athletics Web site.

The Roadrunners, who have a 14-2 record in the month of April, can clinch a share of the crown and the No. 1 seed for the SLC Postseason Tournament with two victories and win the title outright with a sweep of the Bearkats, winners of 11 straight games.

UTSA claimed both the conference regular season and tournament titles last year en route to appearing in the NCAA Regional in Waco, a first for the program.

The series will pit Sam Houston State's team earned run average of 2.13 against UTSA's team batting average of .342, both conference-leading marks. UTSA has won six of the last 10 contests with the Bearkats, including a 6-0 blanking at the 2004 SLC Tournament in the last meeting, and leads the all-time series, 23-20.

The Roadrunners, who lead the NCAA with 94 home runs, are paced by Davis' .405 batting average, 12 home runs and 42 runs batted in and junior third baseman Jessica Rogers' .400 batting average and SLC single-season records of 22 home runs and 62 RBI.

Sophomore right-hander Ursula Mares heads up the pitching staff with an 18-7 record, 2.60 ERA and 177 strikeouts. Head coach Corrie Hill, the school's all-time winningest coach, is 216-178-1 in her seventh season in San Antonio and 261-246-2 overall.

The Bearkats boast one of the top pitching tandems in the league in sophomore Melissa Collins and freshman Shalayne Blythe, the reigning SLC Pitcher of the Week. In conference games only, Collins has a 9-2 record, 1.36 ERA and a league-best .148 opposing batting average, while Blythe totes a miniscule 0.68 ERA, 9-2 record and 83 strikeouts in 72 innings.

Lauren Boone leads a potent offense with a .413 batting average, five doubles, five home runs and 22 RBI. Head coach Bob Brock, who won three national titles at Texas A&M in the 1980s, has an overall record of 821-408-1 in 21 seasons and a 89-106 mark at Sam Houston.

--Kyle Stephens

University Communications
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