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Mo'ne Davis is still a star on the diamonds

The former famous Little League pitcher is now a standout in high school

Mo'ne Davis of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy singles against Penn Charter on May 2, 2017.
Mo'ne Davis of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy singles against Penn Charter on May 2, 2017.Read moreCHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

Some of the signs of stardom still linger.

In 2014, Mo'ne Davis tossed a rare shutout for the Taney Dragons in the Little League World Series, and she instantly became a national celebrity.

There were dozens of media inquiries, TV appearances, and awards events. She was on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Davis traveled the country. Sometimes, she had to miss school. "Kardashian-like" is how Taney coach Steve Bandura described traveling to subsequent games with Davis.

It took about a year for things to calm down, said Davis' stepfather, Mark Williams.

These days, the younger students at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy still go up to Davis in the hallways between classes. When she is out and about, people sometimes recognize her and ask for a picture or a handshake.

At a recent AAU basketball tournament in Virginia, Davis spent time taking pictures with fans.

Still, things are approaching some sense of normalcy for the sophomore.

"It's a little different, but now I get to do things that every other 15-year-old does," Davis said this week before a Springside Chestnut Hill softball game. "I still go shopping. I still hang out with my friends."

And she still plays in the AAU basketball circuit for Philly Triple Threat and baseball for the Anderson Monarchs Baseball Club.

Davis played on Springside Chestnut Hill's varsity soccer team in the fall. She also played basketball at school this season but will likely concentrate on AAU ball this year.

After playing junior varsity baseball for the Blue Devils as a freshman, she joined the school's softball team this spring. She had not played softball since sixth grade.

After the team's loss to Penn Charter on Tuesday, Davis glanced at people volleying on the nearby tennis courts and wondered if she should try that sport next.

"Do you think I would be good at tennis?" she asked. "I always wanted to try."

Not surprisingly, Davis has been a key addition for the Springside Chestnut Hill softball team. Her friend, Colebe Oliver, who plays center field and bats cleanup, suggested Davis try out after the Blue Devils' shortstop graduated last year.

Davis earned the starting spot at shortstop and bats third in the order. The team started out 5-0 in Inter-Ac League play before its first loss this week and sits at the top of the Inter-Ac standings.

Davis went 3 for 4 and scored three runs in a victory over Episcopal last month. A week later, she collected a double, triple, and knocked in six runs in a win over Germantown Academy.

"She's got tremendous, power, range, and speed," softball coach Stephanie Miller said. "It's great to have her on the team, and she's surrounded by other good players as well."

Davis has also continued her success on the baseball diamond with the Monarchs. Bandura said that, while she is not overpowering hitters anymore with her fastball, Davis' curveball and command help her get batters out. She also plays every infield position and catches for the Monarchs.

Even on the 90-foot bases, she can still make all the throws on the field, Bandura said.

The former Taney Little League players on the Monarchs have played with Davis since they were 7. She credits them for her ability to deal with the pressure she has faced over the last several years.

"I just thank them all the time because, if it wasn't for them I would probably be a totally different person," Davis said. "Like people said, the fame probably would have gotten to my head. They've kept me grounded."

Davis said she hopes to continue being a multi-sport athlete throughout high school. Her favorite sport is basketball, and her goal is to get into a good college where she can also play hoops. She will know more about her college options after the AAU basketball season is over this summer.

"Hopefully, that's not going to be the peak of my life," Davis said of her Little League World Series experience. "I have to keep going up and keep working hard and staying focused and just being myself."

Williams said when things happened "overnight" back in 2014 he could not believe how well Davis handled the ordeal. He said the experience should help her throughout the rest of her life.

"I think it shaped her very well," Williams said. "For something that you are not prepared for and to just come out of nowhere, she has rounded out very well.

"I watched her first interview on ESPN and realized she can handle herself out there. We just have to support her and do what we need to do to help her out."