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Mo’ne Davis on Hampton softball: ‘I wanted to play with people that look like me’

Mo'ne Davis plays softball for Hampton University. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

After making waves at 13 years old in the Little League World Series, Mo’ne Davis continues to tear up the diamond — only now she’s playing softball.

Davis recently spoke with Softball America about her decision to play softball and attend Hampton University, a historically Black university in Virginia. The transition to softball came naturally, and she was able to win a state championship at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy before moving on to college.

“It wasn’t too bad. It was just a faster-pace game,” Davis told Softball America. “There was a lot more energy throughout the game that I wasn’t used to because baseball you don’t really cheer that much, but here there is screaming from the first pitch to the last pitch… I’m still learning to this day, just making myself a better person and better player.”

In her second season with Hampton – Hampton opted out of her sophomore season in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic – Davis has been excelling. She has a .225 batting average, 20 runs – the most of any Hampton player – and 14 RBIs through 36 games this season. During the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, she finished with a .333 batting average and eight RBIs. At shortstop, she has 58 putouts so far this season and had 46 during the shortened season.

She says that the decision to attend a HBCU stemmed from wanting to be around players who shared similar experiences to her.

“I wanted to play with people that look like me,” Davis said. “Girls that have similar backgrounds that I can relate to on a deeper level. Just going to practice every day and seeing people that look like me makes me happy. This sport is also a white-dominant sport, so having these Black girls around me is just a good feeling.”

The decision was also academic, as Davis wants to pursue a career in sports broadcasting and Hampton has a strong journalism school. No matter what she does, she told Softball America, she has to be around sports.

“(Softball is) a fun sport to watch,” Davis said. “Seeing all those top-level girls and women, seeing what they do, it inspires you to do the same. It’s grown a lot and it’s a challenging sport. You are always going to continue growing to be better, which is what I love to do.”