Defense getting it done for Dukes in Women’s College World Series

Defense getting it done for Dukes in Women’s College World Series
Odicci Alexander (3) and Hannah Shifflett (1) walks off the field after JMU's 2-1 win over OSU. (Source: NCAA Photos)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The James Madison softball team is the first unseeded team to start 2-0 in the history of the Women’s College World Series, and the Dukes’ defense is a big reason why.

The big play came in the 7th inning against Oklahoma State on Friday night, as senior pitcher Odicci Alexander pounced on the squeeze bunt and dove headfirst for the runner, tagging her before she could touch the plate, and tie the game.

Senior third baseman Lynsey Meeks says, “You couldn’t ask more from this girl. This girls has pitched seven innings, and then she makes a diving, game-saving play. It just shows you the player that she is, the person that she is. She’s going to give everything she has.”

Alexander held the Cowgirls to just three hits, getting help from Meeks, and former Monticello star Hannah Shifflett, who plays first base for the Dukes.

“We have an awesome bond,” says Meeks. “I know that if my throw is off, (Shifflett) is gonna get it, She’s gonna scoop it, or even go up or down the line. I know that she has my back. If I make a play, my throw doesn’t have to be perfect for her. She’s gonna do her best, to do her job, and catch the ball, and get the out.”

Alexander adds, “They kept me in the game, and I couldn’t be more proud of each and every one of them, making those big plays, and coming up in those big moments.”

In their first-ever Women’s College World Series, the Dukes are one win away from the Championship Series.

Head coach Loren LaPorte says, “I think we’re at the point, where, ‘Why not? Why not us?’ We do everything, we work our butts off in the offseason, just like every team does here. This is something really special, that is happening, and our team believes that we can get it done. It just means so much to us, as a staff.”

James Madison will play in the national semifinals on Sunday at one o’clock.

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