(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- Sikeston's Sydney Davied was determined to play college softball well after the Lady Bulldogs' fall season had ended. Davied's determination paid off as she signed a letter of intent to play at Lindenwood University next season.
"I really wanted to play college ball," Davied said. "I really wanted it so I found a way to do it."
Davied's determination to play at the next level could be seen immediately on the field her senior season as she became one of the top players in the area, earning Standard-Democrat Co-Player of the Year honors along with teammate Sarah Hopson.
An outfielder for the Lady Bulldogs, Davied batted .387 while driving in 15 runs and collecting five triples while covering plenty of ground in centerfield. Davied also pitched for Sikeston, compiling a 4-3 record with an impressive 1.58 ERA.
Sikeston head softball coach Tiffany Morgan said Davied's senior season was helped by more than just her athletic abilities.
"She has established the mental part now," Morgan said. "She's always had the athletic ability, but that mental part she has established will help her at the next level."
After the Lady Bulldogs' season ended, Davied didn't rest and played the rest of the fall in hopes of getting noticed by colleges. That move payed big dividends as Lindenwood coach Don Loberg caught sight of Davied at an Exposure Tournament in St. Louis.
"I went up and talked to (Loberg) about it and he said they had some openings," Davied said. "I didn't have to do a tryout because he saw me play in St. Louis at an Exposure Tournament last October. He checked the scholarship money and had money left over so he decided to give me a scholarship."
Davied then had to decide between Lindenwood and Missouri Baptist, but ultimately chose the Lions because it was the best offer.
"I think it is a good move for Sydney," Morgan said. "She is definitely ready for the next level. Her work ethic in the past couple of years has really changed into that of a college athlete."
Lindenwood, an NAIA school that competes in the Heart of America Athletic Conference, just finished their season on Saturday with a 30-23 record. The Lions have won 30 games or more the past four seasons.
At Lindenwood, Davied hopes to find a spot as an outfielder.
"I really don't want to pursue pitching anymore," Davied said. "I really just want to play the outfield. I love that position."
Davied, hopes to major in a science field before going to medical school after she completes her eligibility. But before medical school, Davied has her eyes on the softball diamond.
"Softball at the next level has to be something you want to do because it becomes your whole life," Morgan said. "And she is really wanting to play softball."