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Buford graduate Tessa Daniels elated to be part of softball championship at Florida State
Daniels worked five games in relief as a junior in 2018
Tessa Daniels
Florida State junior Tessa Daniels, a Buford High graduate, celebrates with teammates after winning the softball national championship against Washington on June 5 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. - photo by For The Times

Tessa Daniels has experienced more success on the softball field than most players could ever dream of achieving. 

However, being a member of Florida State’s national championship program in 2018 takes the cake. 

Daniels, a Buford High graduate who appeared in five games as a relief pitcher for the Seminoles (58-12) this season, enjoyed all the festivities that went along with winning the championship despite not appearing on the 20-player roster for the Women’s College World Series earlier this month. 

“It’s incredible,” Daniels said. “It’s an absolute blessing.”

Daniels added this ring to the four state championships she won with the Lady Wolves, Florida State’s three consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference titles and a 14-and-under softball national championship with the Atlanta Vipers. 

The Seminoles won six consecutive games in the Women’s College World Series to claim the championship. Florida State won it all with an 8-3 victory against Washington on June 5 after dropping the first game of the tournament, 7-4, against UCLA on May 31 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 

After winning a pair of games June 3 against UCLA in an elimination situation, the Seminoles advanced to sweep the Huskies in the best-of-three championship series. 

An immediate celebration ensued with players and coaches rushing the field when Florida State pitcher Meghan King fielded a grounder and tossed it to first for the final out against Washington. 

Though she wasn’t on the field for any of the games, Daniels was right in the thick of the celebration as the entire team swarmed the infield as it celebrated the program’s first-ever national championship and third Women’s College World Series appearance since 2014.

“As soon as we rushed out there we celebrated, and there is this picture of a couple of us pointing up to God,” Daniels said. “Before we even got our trophy, before we even shook the hands of Washington, we got down on our knees and prayed and just thanked God.”

As a person of strong faith, Daniels uses her platform in softball to share her beliefs.

Once home from the championship, the Buford High graduate said she experienced a constant stream of celebration and interactions with fans in Tallahassee, Florida.

Daniels said she always includes the bible verse Colossians 3:23 — which states: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for God, not for man” — at the end of her autograph.

Also during the championship weekend, Daniels picked up the Elite 90 Award, which goes to the top student-athlete of any of the eight teams in attendance. Daniels, a junior, carries a 3.98 GPA.

Daniels credits Buford High coach Tony Wolfe for the bevy of success she has enjoyed in softball. 

A first-team All-State selection all four years of high school, Daniels hit .465 with four homers and 44 RBIs while going 8-0 in the pitching circle with a 2.52 ERA as a junior in 2013.

All of that success stemmed from the development Daniels gained from Wolfe’s tutelage.

“(Wolfe) has poured into me spiritually and athletically. He has helped me see what is truly important in this sport,” Daniels said. “Coach Wolfe and all of my coaches at Buford and a lot of people helped me get here. I really would not be here without them. Coach Wolfe was someone that intentionally poured into me from Day 1 at Buford and supported me along the way.”

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