Kristan Glover said she doesn't pay much attention to individual accolades.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
She swats them away, much like the batters trying to connect with her pitches often did.
"They are just numbers," Glover once said of her state record 100 win, 1,000 strikeout totals. "They don't mean anything if we don't win."
"I guess it's nice," the Greenbrier senior noted after being named Class AAAA State Pitcher of the Year. "Winning is more important."
When Glover received a phone call a few weeks back, even she had to step away from her consistently modest demeanor.
On the other end of the phone call was a publication named Sports Illustrated.
The Mount Everest of sports magazines called to let Glover know she would be appearing in the Dec. 20 issue in the "Faces in the Crowd" section.
"Yeah, that was pretty cool," Glover said, smiling, during halftime of the Greenbrier-Harlem game at the Columbia County Christmas Tournament.
Glover, the 2004 Columbia County News-Times Athlete of the Year, led the Greenbrier Lady Wolfpack to the school's first state title in fastpitch softball.
"Her records are great," Greenbrier first baseman Kristi Nichols said. "But more importantly to her, she will always be on the first team to win a state title at Greenbrier."
It was Glover's bulldog mentality - which she says she gets from her father - that led the Lady 'Pack to the state finals in Columbus.
Her dogged determination didn't allow her to smile very often during games, even though the Lady 'Pack dominated their opponents in three of the four games in Columbus.
"She is a competitor," said Tory Acheson, Glover's future coach at Tennessee Tech, where she has signed to play. "You're probably not going to find many girls that have the heart or the determination she has. Sometimes schools get caught up in looking at a player's measurements and don't see the player's will to win. I'm glad those schools are like that because we get some great players because of it. Kristan Glover will be one of those."
During the final seven games of the season, Glover never surrendered a run.
"I have an unbelievable defense behind me every game," she said tearfully after the 12-0 state title win over Chapel Hill. "I can't tell you how many times that defense has saved me. As many times as I've saved them, probably."
Glover also served as a leader off the field.
Hours before the state championship game against Chapel Hill, Glover joked around about celebrity gossip with her teammates.
"She tries to keep our minds off of the game, you know, not be too nervous," said her sister Amanda, Greenbrier's second baseman. "Every team needs players like that."
When Glover stepped on the field that Saturday morning, she became as focused as she's ever been, catcher Jessica Borum said.
"She wanted to win that title so much," she said. "You could see it in her eyes and with every pitch she threw."
When the final out was made - appropriately a soft liner to Amanda - Glover began to weep as her teammates engulfed her.
"I think a lot of pressure was lifted off her back," Amanda said. "She had all these great things said about her. She didn't ask for the records or awards, even though she earned them. All she ever wanted was the championship."
Glover laughed when she was asked about her burgeoning celebrity.
"I'm sure all these things will mean a lot to me when I get older," she said. "But I would've given them all up for that state title."
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