In A Pinch: SS senior Jenna Davis is top choice forpinch-hitting duties

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY, News-Telegram Sports Editor

April 17, 2008 - When it's getting late in a game and SSHS softball coach David Carrillo needs to call on a pinch hitter, he doesn't have to look far. Senior Jenna Davis is always ready.

Davis, who has played third base and designated player this season, has emerged as Carrillo's top bat off the bench.

"If I see that somebody is struggling at the plate a little bit, Jenna's the first one I'll bring off the bench to see if she can get something happening," Carrillo said. "She will continue in that role in the playoffs.

"She's here every day, she works hard, and she fills a big role for us."

Her role could take on added significance in the playoffs because runs are historically harder to come by in the postseason.

After finishing as District 11-4A runners-up, Davis and the Lady Cats (21-8) will have one warm-up game, set for 5 p.m. Monday in Rowlett, before opening the bi-district round of the playoffs next weekend against either Marshall or Whitehouse.

Davis said she stays ready to hit every game.

"I hit every single day, and sometimes I hit on my own at the batting cage," she explained. "I just try to stay concentrated and don't get distracted."

Davis is batting .242 this season with nine RBI, six walks and eight runs scored in 33 at-bats.

She knows that usually when the game gets around the fifth inning that Carrillo may call on her. "Whenever he wants me," she said, "I'll go."

That attitude has endeared her to the coach.

"She's one of those girls you could say is really a team player," he said. "Jenna's a vital part to our team because of what she brings in attitude and work ethic. Jenna is very encouraging and supportive of her teammates, and that's good for our team.

"She exemplifies a team player, and that's what we're looking for in our team."

That just seems to be her nature. She is, after all, a varsity cheerleader. The daughter of Chris and JaJan Davis, Jenna's also student body vice-president, a member of HKK, active in First United Methodist Church and a member of the HSTE class. It was in that class that she decided she wanted to be a speech therapist, and will attend Baylor University with that as a major.

Every spring, though, she feels most comfortable on the softball diamond.

"I like everything about it," she explained. "I love the feel of the field - it just feels right. It feels like home."

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