UTSA Softball Camps
Head Coach Michelle Cheatham
One of the best players to don a UTSA uniform, Michelle Cheatham is in her third season of leading the Roadrunners softball program after spending eight seasons as an assistant.
Just the fifth head coach in program annals, Cheatham assumed the role on Aug. 29, 2013, and wasted no time in restoring UTSA to one of the best power hitting teams in the nation.
In her first season, the Roadrunners led Conference USA with 71 home runs and ranked eighth in the nation by crushing 1.31 round-trippers per game. The UTSA offense racked up 242 runs, which along with its 71 homers were the most since the 2007 season. The Roadrunners hit seven grand slams during the campaign and in Cheatham’s second game at the helm, UTSA tied an NCAA record with two grand slams in an inning.
The power surge was led by Jori Fox and Megan Low, who were the only C-USA teammates to produce at least 40 RBIs in the regular season. The pair earned first-team all-conference honors, while Low also picked up second-team All-South Region laurels from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). Playing her first season at first base, Low slugged 22 homers (2nd most in program history) and finished the regular season tied for the nation’s lead in that category after holding the top spot for six consecutive weeks.
Cheatham spent the previous eight years on the Roadrunners’ coaching staff as an assistant coach. She was hired prior to the 2006 season and worked with the catchers, outfielders and assisted hitting instruction in addition to duties as the team’s first base coach, equipment manager and travel coordinator.
During her eight seasons, UTSA produced a total of 29 all-conference selections, including 12 first-team nods, three NFCA All-Region picks (Jessica Els/2006, Jessica Rogers/2007, Caitlyn Ivy/2010), three Southland Conference Freshmen of the Year (Brittany Cantu/2006, Molly Fichtner/2011, Megan Low/2012) and a Southland Utility Player of the Year honoree (Amanda Horton/2006).
In 2013, Cheatham mentored outfielder Darian Blake, who picked up first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors after leading the team with a .360 batting average, 54 hits, 24 runs and three triples. The Roadrunners finished the season with a .970 fielding percentage, which ranked 32nd in the nation. UTSA’s last two seasons in the Southland were highlighted by back-to-back Freshman of the Year awards for catchers Molly Fichtner and Megan Low. The pair led their respective teams in batting average, home runs and RBIs and posted fielding percentages better than .980.
Cheatham helped the Roadrunners post a 37-14 record and reach the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history in her first season in 2006. UTSA won its third consecutive Southland Regular Season Championship with a 22-5 mark and the Birds swept through the Southland Tournament undefeated for the second time in three years.
UTSA also continued its power-hitting prowess with the help of Cheatham during that first campaign, as it slugged 105 home runs in 51 games, a then-NCAA-record 2.06 per-game average.
In all, UTSA led the conference in home runs three times (2006, ’07, ’11) and batting once (2006), while no catcher committed more than five errors during her tenure.
The former Michelle McElyea, she was a four-year letterwinner from 1999-2002 for the Roadrunners under head coach Corrie Hill. The Clear Lake native earned second-team all-conference honors in 2000 and 2002 at catcher. Cheatham led the league with 18 home runs and 50 runs scored as a sophomore in 2000 and picked up NFCA All-Region and Southland All-Tournament Team laurels following the campaign.
She still appears on eight of the school’s career charts including putouts (3rd/1,172), walks (4th/85), RBIs (4th/126), home runs (5th/37), extra-base hits (6th/73), runs (7th/127), hits (8th/208) and doubles (8th/35) and closed her career with a .306 batting average. In addition, Cheatham owns the single-season record for putouts with 455 in 2002.
Cheatham, who graduated with a bachelor’s of business administration degree in accounting from UTSA in 2003, and her husband, Brian, have twin sons, Austin and Brayden.