OKLAHOMA CITY (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – For just the third time in program history, Mississippi State softball will boast not one, but two National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Americans as Fa Leilua and Mia Davidson both earned spots on the coveted list, the organization announced on Thursday.
Junior utility/designated player Fa Leilua was tabbed to the NFCA’s All-America Second Team, while sophomore catcher Mia Davidson earned a spot on the NFCA’s All-America Third Team. It is just the third time in program history that multiple Bulldogs have earned All-America honors in the same season and the first duo to be honored since Chelsea Bramlett and Courtney Bures both earned first-team honors in 2008.
Leilua and Davidson are just the eighth and ninth student-athletes in Mississippi State history to earn All-America accolades, bringing the program total to 21 NFCA and Easton All-America honors among the group of nine Bulldogs. The duo are the first Bulldogs to bring All-America accolades back to Starkville since Chelsea Bramlett in 2010. They are head coach Vann Stuedeman’s first NFCA All-Americans in her Mississippi State tenure.
Earlier today the duo was selected to Softball America’s All-America squads with Davidson earning a first-team selection and Leilua rounding out the publication’s second team.
Her first season in Maroon and White was one for the record books as Leilua proved to be one of the most lethal players at the plate in the Southeastern Conference. She led all SEC designated players/utility athletes with a .387 average in league play with eight home to earn First Team All-SEC honors earlier this month.
Leilua was just one of two Bulldogs to start all 58 contests this season. She finished second on the squad with a .345 average at the plate, coupled with a .757 slugging mark. Patient at the plate, she drew 18 walks and was hit by a pitch five times to boast a .412 on-base percentage. The junior added 44 runs scored, 61 hits and 52 RBI. Seeing action as both a designated player and in the outfield, Leilua turned in a perfect fielding percentage over her debut season, recording nine putouts.
The Hawthrone, California, native closed her junior campaign with 22 total home runs, setting a new Mississippi State junior record. The total ranked second in single-season history behind only her teammate Mia Davidson’s record-shattering mark of 26. The mark is also good for a tie for eighth in SEC single-season history.
Leilua currently ranks sixth nationally in home runs per game (0.38) and total home runs. She also ranks third in the SEC in sacrifice flies (4), fifth in slugging percentage and total bases (134) and seventh in RBI per game (.90).
In her first season as a Bulldog, Leilua has already written her name all over the Mississippi State record book with her All-American campaign. She also ranks sixth in MSU single-season history in slugging percentage and eighth for RBI and total bases. Her 22 home runs are also already good for ninth all-time in career history at State.
Turning in one of the most impressive slugging performances not only in Mississippi State history but also the Southeastern Conference, Davidson has shattered multiple records en route to the first All-America honor of her career.
State’s leader at the plate, Davidson closed the season by leading the team in batting average (.373), runs scored (52), hits (63), doubles (8), home runs (26), slugging percentage (.882) total bases (149), walks (23), hit by pitch (14) and on-base percentage (.476).
The two-time First Team All-SEC honoree currently ranks second nationally in home runs per game (.46) and total home runs, leading the SEC in both categories. Her 26 home runs not only set a new Mississippi State single-season and sophomore records but also shattered the SEC’s single-season mark that was once held by Georgia's Alex Hugo (2014) and Alabama's Kelly Kretschman (1998).
Davidson also ranks seventh nationally in slugging percentage, 10th in total bases and RBI per game (1.12) and 12th in RBI. The Hillsborough, North Carolina, native rounded out her impressive season also ranking fourth in the SEC in runs per game (.91), 12th in on-base percentage and 16th in hits.
Davidson is the lone player in the Southeastern Conference to record at least 60 RBI, 60 hits and 50 runs scored this season. She is just one of nine players nationally to accomplish this feat over the 2019 season.
Behind the dish, Davidson is lethal with six pickoffs and 12 runners caught stealing over her sophomore season. She holds a .983 fielding percentage, committing just six errors, coupled with 300 putouts and 37 assists.
On top of her home run records, Davidson closed the season by shattering Mississippi State’s single-season slugging percentage by 46 points. She also set new sophomore records at State for RBI and slugging percentage. Davidson name is all over State’s single-season annuals after her monstrous sophomore season as she also closed the year ranking second in RBI, fourth in total bases, fifth in hit by pitches and ninth in runs scored.
With just two seasons under her belt, Davidson is already turning in one of the most impressive careers in Mississippi State history as she already holds the program record for career home runs (45) and slugging percentage (.818). She also ranks fourth in on-base percentage (.464), fifth in batting average (.372), ninth in hit by pitch (25) and 10th in RBI (112).