Odicci Alexander's Legacy Won't Soon Be Forgotten
Odicci Alexander took the softball world by storm in her final year with James Madison University. After not being heavily recruited in high school, she finished her collegiate career on the biggest stage in college softball at the Women’s College World Series.
What Alexander did in her fifth year with the program quite literally went down in history.
The Boydton, Va. native and her team earned the Colonial Athletic Association's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament with their conference championship this year. In the circle, Alexander set the CAA Tournament single-game record with 16 strikeouts and almost succeeded in throwing a perfect game. The Dukes outscored their opponents 32-0 in the CAA Tournament to earn their sixth title in program history and ninth appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
The Dukes were placed in the Knoxville Regional. JMU made it out of the regional unscathed after winning two games against Liberty University and one against No. 9 Tennessee. Alexander threw 22.1 innings total in Tennessee and recorded two wins and a save.
JMU’s next opponent was No. 8 Missouri in the Columbia Super Regional. Alexander started all three games in Columbia, coming away with the two wins necessary to punch a ticket to the WCWS.
In total, she pitched 37.3 out of the 45.0 innings her team played on the way to Oklahoma City.
“We focused on the next game instead of just focusing on what we just did, and I think it just kept us moving forward,” JMU head coach Loren LaPorte said. “It was one of those things where we talked about why not. Why not us being able to do this? And we just kept our eyes on the prize the entire time. We just kept paving this path, and it was awesome.”
JMU faced Oklahoma in the opening game of the WCWS. From the get-go, it seemed LaPorte would throw the CAA Pitcher of the Year as much as possible during the final stage of the season. Alexander pitched eight innings and recorded nine strikeouts to secure her team’s first win, 4-3, in the WCWS over the Sooners.
Alexander got it done again for the Dukes the next day, recording two strikeouts and only allowing three hits to secure a 2-1 win over Oklahoma State. With their second win, JMU became the first unseeded team to ever start the WCWS 2-0.
The Dukes had to fight Oklahoma once again, for the right to the championship round, after the Sooners made it out of the losers' bracket. Alexander pitched her heart out, but ultimately fell to the No.1 seed after Oklahoma forced a third game with the Dukes. The senior was pulled out of the final game after valiantly pitching 4.2 innings against the eventual–national champions.
Alexander received a standing ovation not only from JMU fans, but from the whole crowd at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium. Game recognizes game, and everyone in Oklahoma City understood what Alexander did for her team this season.
“To see them all clapping for me and cheering me on,” Alexander said after her final game at the WCWS, “it was a great moment, and it warmed my heart.”
Alexander, who started her professional softball career just after the WCWS ended when she signed a contract with the USSSA Pride, now looks back on her college softball experience and legacy at JMU with nothing but pride. She will also compete as a pro softball player for Athletes Unlimited later this summer.
“We will go down as one of the best teams at JMU,” she said. “Just to leave that as your legacy at your university, I have no words for that.”