GREENSBORO, N.C. – Six years ago, millions of people across the world knew who Mo’ne Davis was from her Little League World Series heroics. On Saturday, she made her collegiate softball debut here in front of about 100 fans.
And she is fine with that.
In 2014, Davis became the first girl in Little League World Series history to pitch a winning game. As a freshman second baseman for Hampton University, she helped the Pirates beat North Carolina A&T, 15-4, in their opening game of the season on Saturday. Davis admitted to having some anxiety about her first game at the college level, but she got over them quickly.
"On the bus ride I was nervous,” Davis said. “It was the first real game that actually matters, so I was a little nervous. But once Coach Angie [Nicholson] said, ‘Go out there and have fun. You guys have worked so hard, just play your game.’ That just shook the nerves away.”
A graduate of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, Davis says she doesn’t miss the spotlight that led to her being on the cover of Sports Illustrated and her name being recognized everywhere. She is enjoying being a first-year college student and improving her game.
“It’s nice to be in college. It’s nice to be myself,” Davis said. “It’s nothing really different. I wasn’t really big into the spotlight. That’s not who I am. It’s nice to be out here. It’s just fun to be with this team.”
Nicholson said that Davis is one of the most humble people she has seen and somewhat soft-spoken. And nobody would even know about her past because Davis doesn’t talk about it.
“Absolutely it matters. It’s the coolest thing ever,” Nicholson said. “She doesn’t make it a big deal. That’s what’s great about it. You would never know it. She doesn’t see herself in that light.”
Davis’ numbers at the plate in her first game were respectable. She was 1-for-3, with a two-run single and a sacrifice. Her coach says Davis needs to improve her hitting, but she is still one of the best players she has ever coached and is always positive.
“She’s got the best hands on the team,” Nicholson said. “She’s got the best arm on the team, Her [baseball] IQ is fantastic. She totally gets it. What I’m wanting from her is to understand how good she can be at the plate. She’s truly supportive. You’ll never hear a negative word come out of that kid’s mouth.”
Davis’ goals for herself this season aren’t outrageous, but she would like to make the conference all-freshman team. She talks more about team goals than herself, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows her.