Editor and Contributing Writer
Photograph: Alyssa Davis is the St. Landry Now Athlete of the Week, with T-shirt by Tikey T’s. (Photograph by Bobby Ardoin)
Alyssa Davis made the most of her first season starting as an outfielder for the Port Barre High softball team.
Davis, who plays four sports for the Red Devils was a recently-announced first-team selection to the 2022 Class 3A all-state team during a year in which Port Barre competed for a state championship in the sport.
The accomplishment has also earned Davis the St. Landry Now Athlete of The Week.
Davis, selected by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association as a utility player, batted .453 for Coach Jacques Soileau who was chosen as the Class 3A Coach of The Year.
It was also a special year for Davis, who normally plays center field for the Devils who lost to Many in the state championship game.
Although Davis, a junior last year, has been part of previous Port Barre softball rosters, 2022 was actually her first year as a regular starter.
“I’d played before, but this year was my first starting. We have had a lot of coaching changes (in softball) and this year it all happened for me,” Davis said.
Davis normally batted ninth in the lineup last year, but she didn’t consider that as an unflattering move by Soileau.
“What the ninth hitter does is move the other runners around and get on base herself. It’s like being a second leadoff hitter,” said Davis.
Davis said her ability to bunt and helps keep the Port Barre half of the inning engaged. It is probably also a skill that has earned her respect at the plate.
“I’m a great bunter. I use my bunting skills and use my speed to get on base. I usually get a lot of hits that way and in bunting it’s always about thinking what’s good for the team,” Davis added.
Davis’ selection as an all-stater included honorable mention choices for two other Port Barre players, left field Amani Francis and third baseman Samantha Daniels.
The appearance in a state championship game was the first for a Port Barre softball team in 20 seasons.
Davis said Soileau has stepped in and solidified the Devils’ softball program.
“Coach Soileau has spent some of his own money to help improve things, such as the facility and the field. I think that has helped upgrade the program. I think we can get back to the championship game again next year,” said Davis.