By UTA PR Student Marcos Carrillo
ARLINGTON, Texas - From making A’s in high school and playing on a travel team together, to playing softball for UT Arlington and making the Dean’s list, Marisa Datko and Bryanna Datko are in their last season of playing collegiate softball together.
Senior Marisa and junior Bryanna have always encouraged each other to do better. It was also the help of their two older sisters who played Division I softball that helped teach them what to expect and how to prepare for collegiate softball. As Bryanna said, "Being the baby of the family I learned so much from my older sisters."
Living in a competitive household, the four sisters grew up very close to each other and supported each other as much as they could. Fortunately for Marisa and Bryanna, the two have been able to play together consistently until after this season when Marisa will graduate and go to graduate school.
The two sisters have a long and treasured history of playing together. When asked about their fondest memory growing up, both responded the road trips to and from the games for their club team. From having deep life conversations to watching movies such as Stealth, the car rides were full of laughter, mental preparation for games, and random math questions asked by their father, Keith Datko.
Mr. Datko would always keep the two sisters on their toes by asking them questions such as "Anaheim is 83 miles away, how fast do I need to go if I want to arrive in an hour and a half." If the two did not want to cooperate he would then respond with "Don’t want to talk about math? Then let’s talk about the boys in your life." It would then seem that a mental calculator would magically appear and the two sisters would respond to the math questions their father would ask.
The constant focus on mental math would eventually pay off for the two resulting in both sisters making the dean’s list and receiving the NFCA scholar athlete award.
As Marisa and Bryanna continue in their last season playing together, both look forward to making the best of it. Approaching the end of playing with her older sister, Bryanna said "I am going to make the most of this opportunity playing with her by just having fun."
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