July 5, 2007
As the oldest of three siblings, LaShaun Davis has been a leader every since her parents let her watch over her brother LaMont, who is four years younger than her and her sister, Chaniece, who is seven years her junior. So when it came time for her to assume the leadership role as a captain for the Florida State softball team, Davis was already a natural.
It’s Davis’ goal to lead her team the same city where her freshman year ended: Oklahoma City. The Marietta, Ga., native was a starter on the 2004 Florida State team that advanced to the World Series. Still a wide-eyed rookie she thought every season wasn’t suppose to end until June.
Last year was the closest Davis has gotten to being back in the World Series as the Seminoles advanced to the Super Regional and were two wins away from OKC. Even though it was exciting to be one of the final 16 teams playing, Davis said the feeling of the Super Regional doesn’t compare.
“There’s nothing like playing in the World Series,” Davis said. “As a freshman it’s so new to you. You’re new to college, you’re new to the whole experience and then being at the World Series is a whole new big thing. Going to the Super Regional was great, but when you’ve been to the World Series you know there’s a lot more so you feel like you fell short.”
While she’s been a leader ever since she could make macaroni and cheese, it’s much harder to command the respect and get people to follow your lead when you’re not related to them. Fortunately for Davis she was able to observe the ways of great leaders like Jessica van der Linden and Tatiana George and blend some of the things she learned from them with her own techniques.
“Something that I took from Tat was really trying to go to the freshmen and sophomores and try to make them feel comfortable from the beginning,” Davis added. “Offer them anything they need and always be that first person that is always willing to help them, be that encouragement and the person to help guide them through their earlier years.”
Last season Davis became a leader on the field as she earned Second-Team All-ACC honors after posting a career-high .342 batting average that ranked ninth in the conference. The Walton High School product was at her best during conference games as she was second behind teammate Yuruby Alicart with a .439 average and was tops in the ACC with four triples.
While that success on the field hasn’t completed translated into her senior season yet, Davis is doing things on and off the field to get Florida State back to the World Series.
“I don’t mind being the oldest one on the team or being the leader,” Davis noted. “I like being the one that is in charge, I think it brings out better things in myself and it forces me to stay on top of game not just in softball, but in all aspects where you need to be a leader. I welcome that and I like the challenge.”
One challenge that Davis doesn’t feel will be a challenge is life after softball. With a balancing act that includes school, softball, being a captain, FSU’s SAAC and squeezing in free time to be a normal student, anything the real world throws at her should be a breeze.
“I look at the calendar and I know that I’m graduating next month and I realize that there is really only two months left, but it doesn’t feel like,” Davis said. “They say time flies when you’re having fun and I really think that that’s what happens. Your college career goes by so fast because no matter what, we’re all out there playing a game we love. For the most part Veronica (Wootson) and I want to win and close it out how we came in at the World Series.”
When her playing career is over, Davis said her next goal is to work as a copy writer in the realm of advertising or journalism. While going to graduate school is not necessary for being a copy writer, she is entertaining the idea of going back to school for mass communications or multimedia.