Courtney Found Her Grove in the Spring of 2010

Courtney Davis’ senior year playing softball for Erskine College (SC) didn’t appear to be anything special during fall and winter workouts, but when the 2009-2010 season started in February something interesting started to happen.  Courtney’s inconsistent bat came alive and stayed that way through a record-breaking year.  

Courtney led Division II in home runs for most of the past season.

The Flying Fleet’s four-year starter at first base, Courtney came to Erskine through NSR of Western North Carolina and Area Scout Alan Parham.  “We enrolled Courtney with NSR when she was heading into her sophomore year at Erwin High in Asheville.  She was an excellent all-around athlete with tremendous upside in softball.  She was already nearly 5’10” then and could crush the ball,” said Parham, an eight-year veteran scout for NSR.

The three-sport star athlete at Erwin managed to play volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter and softball in the spring and summer.  She received over 100 questionnaires from college coaches during her high school career.  “Courtney was a physical specimen and on film she demonstrated her athleticism and ability to get the bat head through the strike zone with a lot of speed,” said Parham.  “When any college coach sees a six-foot kid on video repeatedly hitting the ball against the outfield fence, they’re going to be impressed.  And, because Courtney was a 4.0 student, she was contacted by programs at every level of college softball.” 

In the end, even after receiving initial interest from some of the top softball programs in the nation, it took Courtney one visit to tiny Erskine, located in the remote town of Due West, South Carolina, to convince her that she wanted to attend a small school.  “There was something very intimate about Erskine which touched me from the start.  The excellent academic reputation and Head Coach Alleen Hawkins were all I needed to make my decision,” Courtney recently said.

Hawkins, a veteran softball coach who guided both Furman and the University of Georgia programs from their infancy to contenders had decided to leave the high-pressure lifestyle of DI sports and settled with her husband and three daughters in rural South Carolina.  It just so happened that Erskine College was few miles down the road from her house and needed a softball coach.  Seven years later Hawkins celebrated her 600th career coaching win during Davis’ junior season.  

Alleen Hawkins was a significant influence on Courtney's life and career at tiny Erskine College.

“This would have never happened for me without Coach Hawkins,” said Courtney.  “She would not allow me to fail as a softball player, a student or a person.  I owe so much of my success to her persistence and belief in me.”    

In her final go-around with the team, Courtney led Erskine with a .381 batting average while setting a new school single-season home run record with 19.  She also set a new career home run record with 43 home runs.  She led the team in hits with 48 and drove in a team-high 44 runs.  In a double header with Pfeiffer University, Courtney hit three home runs.  When her season ended, Courtney led the nation in home runs at the NCAA Division II level and was named Conference Carolinas Player of the Year as well as 2nd Team Southeast All-Region by the National Softball Coaches Association.  Coach Hawkins said, “Courtney had a memorable senior season by setting two school records and was huge reason for our team’s success this year.”

When asked about her connection to NSR, Courtney said, “Going to Erskine is because my scout, Alan Parham, told me that he knew of a small school in South Carolina that would test me academically and athletically, and that if I would go down there for one visit, that it could change my life.  He was right.  I enjoyed every minute of my time there and will always be grateful to Alan and NSR for connecting me with the very best college for me.  Had my parents decided not to put me with NSR, I would hate to see what my life would have been like.”

Working with high school student-athletes to help them find the college and athletic program right for them is what we at NSR do every day.  If you are not being connected to colleges and coaches, and if you want more attention and opportunities, contact us today.

 

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