Mo'ne Davis, barrier-breaking LLWS star, makes collegiate softball debut for Hampton

Mo'ne Davis made her collegiate softball debut on Saturday. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Mo’ne Davis, the star of the 2014 Little League World Series, made her collegiate softball debut for Hampton University in a 15-4 win over North Carolina AT&T on Saturday.

Then 13 years old, Davis stole headlines when she became the first girl to pitch a shutout at the LLWS for her Philadelphia squad. She was also the first African American girl to play in the tournament.

Now she’s starring at second base for Hampton University, which she chose because it was a historically black university. The NCAA softball season opened late last week.

“I think this should be a fun season,” Davis said, via the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Really, overall, I just want us to do well as a team. Hopefully win the conference. But just to go out there and fight with my brand new family I have and play for them.”

Davis went 1-for-3, hitting a sacrifice and two-RBI single to right in a five-run fifth inning for Hampton. The Pirates added seven in the final frame to complete the win. Game 2 was stopped after three innings due to darkness.

“She’s got the best hands on the team,” coach Angie Nicholson said, via The Philadelphia Inquirer. “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 dazzled her way on to the cover of Sports Illustrated and Time Magazine with her baseball talents in 2014. It sparked positive “throw like a girl” commercials and a documentary. She spoke often of a dream to play basketball for UConn, but soured on the sport. She told Yahoo Sports last summer she never considered chasing a baseball career — it’s a difficult prospect as girls are siphoned away from it come time to join a school team — and will instead have some fun playing softball at Hampton.

“From second grade all the way through graduation I’ve been at a predominantly white school. Just to be able to go to an HBCU and to get that experience, just to follow the path that a lot of African-Americans went through, I think it would be pretty cool,” Davis told ESPN’s Outside the Lines in August. “I feel like a lot of black athletes should look into HBCU’s, and it’s one of those decisions I’ll be able to say I won’t regret and I made the right decision.”

She said she also felt it was a “family atmosphere” and likes the strength of Hampton’s journalism and communications program.

The Pirates softball team went 23-25 (7-17 Big South Conference) last season, its first in the conference, and have had three winning seasons in the past seven. They haven’t won a conference title since 1996.

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