In her first full year in the circle, Davis led the Lady Warriors (39-6) to their second straight Class 4A state runner-up this season. She compiled a 39-3 record in 255 innings with 275 strikeouts and a microscopic 0.60 ERA.
Davis also did her part at the plate, batting .496 with 17 doubles, five home runs, a pair of triples, 14 walks, 38 runs and 42 RBIs.
All those numbers were too hard for the Alabama Sportswriters Association to overlook.
Not only did they reward Davis with one of four Class 4A All-State pitching slots, they also selected her as their Class 4A Player of the Year.
Davis is one of 15 area softball players to receive All-State recognition. The ASWA All- State Softball Teams were released on Saturday.
Davis said she’s humbled with the Class 4A Player of the Year honor.
“What you’re going for during the season is to help your team and play the best for your teammates, to be there for them and always back them up. To have this (Player of the Year) added to the end of the season, it’s just a great honor,” Davis said.
Davis credited her teammates for developing her into the pitcher she is today.
“I had them backing me up,” she said. “We played together as a team, and we won together as a team. The way we bonded throughout the season, and to finish in the state championship game, it’s just a great cap to the season.”
Barnes said he’s never coached a player with the focus level Davis has.
“With her, it’s like a light switch,” he said. “She closes her eyes before every pitch, visualizes it, and then throws it. She’ll come off the field, and you try to shake her hand when she comes by, and she won’t even see you. You have to kind of grab her to say good job. That’s how focused she is.
“She’s also focused like that when she’s hitting, but as soon as that last out is made in the seventh inning, she can turn that switch off. It’s an amazing thing.”
Joining Davis from Cherokee County is another first-team selection in sophomore catcher Madison Millsaps.
Millsaps batted .551 with 20 doubles, seven home runs, a triple, 55 runs and 34 RBIs. She also walked 18 times and had 10 stolen bases.
“Catcher to me is the hardest position to play, and being left-handed is an advantage,” Barnes said. “You don’t see many left-handed catchers, but she does an awesome job.
“She hit leadoff all year and well over .500. To do that and catch 40-something games and how your knees hold up, I don’t know. She’s just a special player.”
The Lady Warriors also had a pair of honorable mention players in junior second baseman Darbie Rosser and sophomore first baseman Molly Brewer.
Rosser batted .413 with 10 doubles, seven home runs, 32 runs and 45 RBIs. She also walked 20 times and had six stolen bases. Brewer batted .380 with eight doubles, 32 runs, 26 walks and 18 RBIs.
“Darbie will probably tell you she’s not that blessed with athletic ability, but she’s one who gives you every ounce of athletic ability she’s got,” Barnes said. “She’s probably got the best swing of the many players I’ve coached, and she’s a really good defensive player. She really helps us a lot.
“Molly is very similar to that. She’s been our No. 2 batter for the past two years, and she’s probably got the best eye on the team. She knows the situation of the game and knows what she’s got to do. As far as knowledge of softball, she’s probably our best player. She’s a very good team player.”
Spring Garden senior Jordan Sides snagged one of the Class 1A outfield spots. Sides batted .500 with eight doubles, a pair of triples, 23 walks, 60 runs and 29 RBIs last season for the Lady Panthers (23-14).
Spring Garden also had a pair of honorable mention selections in junior shortstop Heather Smart and eighth-grade second baseman Jessica Smart.
Heather Smart batted .583 with 13 doubles, eight triples, three home runs, 15 walks, 46 runs and 39 RBIs. Jessica Smart batted .422 with six triples, five doubles, six walks, 33 runs and 40 RBIs.
The Collinsville Lady Panthers (18-21-1) also had a first-team selection in senior third baseman Trista Duque and an honorable mention in junior catcher Christy Cox.
Duque batted .514 with 15 doubles, three triples, two home runs, five walks, 35 runs and 51 RBIs. Cox compiled a .544 batting average with 23 doubles, four triples, four walks, 10 stolen bases, 43 runs and 35 RBIs.
Cedar Bluff (15-17) had a pair of honorable mention players in senior outfielder Suzie Quarles and sophomore shortstop Katie McGinnis.
Quarles batted .424 with 14 doubles, a triple and a home run. She also scored 33 runs, stole 20 bases, had 16 walks and had 26 RBIs. McGinnis, an honorable mention at designated hitter, batted .436 with 11 doubles and three triples. She also stole 24 bases and had 10 walks.
Gaylesville (9-13) had an honorable mention at one of the Class 1A Utility positions in senior Katlin Hammett. In the circle, Hammett went 9-13 with 107 strikeouts. At the plate, Hammett batted .471 with eight doubles, a pair of triples, 10 stolen bases, six walks, 20 runs and 16 RBIs.
In Class 2A, Sand Rock (28-13) had three honorable mention players in junior second baseman Megan McCullough, sophomore third baseman Madison Smith and eighth-grader McKenna Morgan at utility.
McCullough batted .420 with four doubles, 41 stolen bases, 10 walks, 41 runs and 12 RBIs. Smith batted .448 with 15 doubles, three home runs, a triple, 14 stolen bases, six walks, 30 runs and 21 RBIs.
Morgan, who pitched and played third base for the Lady Wildcats, compiled a 19-8 record in the circle with a save in 131.1 innings. She gave up 81 runs (68 earned) on 115 hits with 48 walks, 88 strikeouts and a 3.62 ERA. At the plate, Morgan batted .468 with 17 doubles, three home runs, eight walks, nine runs and 33 RBIs.
Complete All-State Softball selections can be found at www.cherokeeherald.com and www.prepcentralonline.com.