By LARRY VAUGHT
She was just an eighth grader when she verbally committed to play softball at Marshall mainly because she liked the coach. Hannah Davis liked what the coaching staff said she could do for the team and also that there were no cliques on the team.
Once Marshall changed coaches, the Scott County standout decommitted. She still didn’t want to go far from home — “I want to watch my little sister grow as a person and softball player” — and soon picked Kentucky over Western Kentucky.
“It was either Western Kentucky or Kentucky, and obviously I liked Kentucky the best,” said Davis, who helped Scott County win another state title her senior year. “I loved the campus, the coaches and how the team was a family.”
She hit .583 as a senior with 13 home runs, drove in 72 runs, scored 65 runs and stole 23 bases to earn first team All-America honors from MaxPreps. As a junior, she hit .421, knocked in 32 runs and homered eight times. She drove in 187 runs in her prep career with 29 home runs in her five-year career when Scott won three state championships.
Davis was not always a prolific power hitter. She was a right-handed hitter until her father, Greg, suggested she become a left-handed slap hitter. She made the move her seventh-grade season when she was on the freshman team.
“I started slapping and it was not working. I thought maybe I should just try hitting (for power). I started hitting my eighth grade year and have ever since then,” Davis said. “It was definitely my dad’s idea to switch because I just could not hit the ball for power on the right side. He noticed and said, ‘You are never going to be a power hitter. Let’s try something else.’
“My dad is really straight forward, which is good. He just told me it was not going to work on the right side. Both my parents are lefties. I would sometimes joke around and swing lefty and it looked better than my right-handed swing. So we tried it and it worked.”
Davis played middle school volleyball, but that didn’t work for her. She was all-in with softball.
“Softball is more personal and everybody is playing together and it is not about individuals, it is about team,” she said. “I just really like it and fell in love with it. I think softball is one of the best sports at Scott County, if not the best one, and I just didn’t really want to play any other sport.”
Davis will be joining a veteran team at UK that has made the Super Regional the last two years and will be expecting to reach the World Series next season. She played shortstop at Scott County but will likely move to third base. Kentucky returns Katie Reed at shortstop and Abbey Cheek at third, so Davis knows she’ll likely have a learning season ahead of her.
“I like third more than short. I played third for summer ball for three years. It is quicker and everything is faster,” Davis said. “At short I have a lot of time to think and a lot of time to do so much stuff. I just like third better. Sometimes it is not good for me to have too much time to think. I like the game going fast. At short it can be kind of slow.”
“I think we can be really good next year. With the people coming in and the way they are now, we are just kind of adding more to it. I think we can make it pretty far. We all want to get better and make it there (World Series).”