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Lizi Arbogast / The Outlook Reeltown's Chloe Davidson was a top hitter and pitcher for the Rebels this season.

Just by looking at Chloe Davidson’s statistics, it’s really hard to tell she was only a freshman in 2019 for Reeltown. Davidson led the Rebels’ offense with a batting average of .547; she racked up 73 strikeouts in just 96 2/3 innings of work; and she was one of their top defenders with a .899 fielding percentage.

Davidson is the 2019 Outlook Softball Player of the Year.

“She has a very good work ethic so I just see her progressing and getting better year by year,” Reeltown coach Kelli Hilyer said. “I used her mainly at regionals pitching so she got a lot of experience in that role. We just fell short the game right before the qualifier to go to state, but having a pitcher coming back that was able to do that, that’s going to help the team a lot.”

Davidson was part of Reeltown’s 1-2-3 punch at the top of the lineup.

The Rebel lineup began with Morgan McGuire, who batted .495, then Davidson followed that up. Next in line was Bella Studdard, who batted .514 on the season, making for a lethal trio at the top of the order.

“Batting wise, Chloe followed Morgan in the lineup for the majority of the year,” Hilyer said. “She has speed just like Morgan did. So having both of them on base, that was just dynamic and then following up with Bella right behind them.

“Chloe was disciplined at the plate and she saw the ball well. She could slap, hit, anything from that left side. It was nice to be able to have her do that.”

Davidson’s pitching also seemed to get better and better throughout the season, and Hilyer said Davidson was like a sponge when it came to retaining knowledge. At the beginning of the season, Davidson didn’t really have a curveball in her rotation. But Hilyer showed her how to throw it just a few times, and Davidson immediately picked it up. 

“I had to show it to her maybe a couple times and she picked it up,” Hilyer said. “She’s very body aware and very coachable. She picks up on things almost instantly, and she’s very determined.”

The curveball became one of her top pitches by the end of the year.

“The changeup was great too,” Hilyer said. “I always said her changeup was nasty because you don’t expect it to come. When she throws it, it looks like all her other pitches but when it comes out of her hand, it’s unbelievable. The speed she takes off of it and the spin, that’s what would catch a lot of hitters off balance.”

Not only was Davidson a defensive threat in the circle, she also was used as a utility infielder. Davidson spent most of her freshman season playing second and third but she also was used some at short stop.

Having that versatility will help the Rebels and ultimately help Davidson in the long run.

“That’s the main thing I tell all the athletes is if you can play more than one position and play it well, that helps the team out more than dominating at one position,” Hilyer said. “We have quite a few that can do that but it’s easy for a coach if multiple people can play multiple positions. And for their futures, I think college coaches are looking for multi-sport athletes and utility players.” 

It’s going to be hard to keep up the pace Davidson set as a freshman but with her work ethic and her experience, Hilyer isn’t worried about that. 

Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.