Teresa Davis wasn’t going to end her college athletics career with a black eye.
During the third game of her Senior Day tripleheader for Point Park University against Asbury on April 26, the Firelands graduate fouled a ball off her face, sending her to the emergency room to see if she broke it.
She didn’t, but Davis had a black eye and the injury caused her to miss her only two games of the year — a doubleheader against Carlow on April 28.
But she was determined to return to the field.
Davis navigated her way through the injury and final exams to make it back six days later for the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, where she went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI in two losses.
“Even though we lost the tournament, I was happy to say that I actually got back on the field and was able to play with my teammates one more time,” said Davis, who hit .333 her senior year with 22 runs, nine doubles, two triples, a home run and 14 RBIs.
Her resilience should surprise no one. Not only did Davis play softball, she also played four years of basketball, as well, at the Pittsburgh school.
She also had two majors and still managed to graduate in three years with a 3.3 grade-point average.
She just wrapped up her first year of graduate school, and plans to finish her master’s in business administration next spring.
The transition from basketball to softball was always tough because the seasons collide with one another. And when Point Park was fortunate enough to go to the NAIA Division II basketball tournament — as it has the last three years — she’d miss the first part of spring training.
That, and the added commitment to practicing for both sports, left her with loaded schedule all four years.
“It’s really just time consuming,” Davis said. “You have to keep your priorities straight.”
Davis and her fellow seniors were part of what hopes to be a launching point for the women’s basketball program. They were part of the first league championship in 2012 as co-champions of the American Mideast Conference. The Pioneers went on to win their first tournament championship that year and made the school’s first trip to the NAIA tournament.
They’ve since won the KIAC outright the last two seasons and returned to the national tournament by winning the last two conference tournaments.
All of this success came under current coach Tony Grenek, who took over Davis’ sophomore year. She said the culture change was instant.
“We had more team camaraderie,” Davis said. “Coach came in and told us from the get-go that we were going to go to nationals and set records. We believed him. We bought into the program. Being all on the same page helped us a lot. We all had a role on the team.”
This year, however, Point Park was almost sent home in the KIAC semifinals. The Pioneers struggled in the first half against fifth-seeded Berea and were tied at 27 heading into the locker room. Davis had no points and said the team as a whole was struggling offensively.
Point Park came out with a 9-3 run and when Davis hit her first shot, a 3-pointer, the lead went to 12. She followed that up with another three on her next possession to stretch the lead to 13.
The Pioneers held off Berea’s late-game push to seal a 68-64 victory.
“Not only was I excited, my bench was excited for me,” said Davis, who appeared in all 34 games with 11 starts, averaging 15.7 minutes and 6.3 points per game. “The energy completely changed and it helped us build the momentum to finish the game on a good note.”
Life after athletics may not begin just yet for Davis. While she has exhausted her basketball and softball eligibility, she can play another sport during her second year of graduate school and said she is considering track.
But like most college graduates, she’s still pursuing a variety of employment opportunities.
“Honestly, I’m still trying to figure it out,” Davis said. “I just want to work somewhere where I’m happy every day.”
Contact Chris Sweeney at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.