- JMU Dukes star Odicci Alexander was hit by a pitch during a WCWS game against Oklahoma Sunday.
- The resulting foot injury caused the Dukes pitcher’s toenails to fall off.
- Alexander pitched a day later and earned a standing ovation from the WCWS crowd for her heroics.
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Odicci Alexander is toughness personified.
The James Madison University redshirt senior pitched her team straight into the history books, helping the underdog Dukes become the first unranked squad in Women’s College World Series history to reach the semifinals through 1,057 pitches and an abundance of grit.
AP Photo/Mike Caudill
Alexander became the tournament’s unofficial breakout star during JMU’s electrifying Cinderella run, but it was her dogged performance in the final game of her career that cemented her legacy in softball lore and elicited a standing ovation from the fans at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium.
During the Dukes’ game against the Oklahoma Sooners on Sunday, Alexander took a wayward pitch to the foot and limped to first base as JMU’s potential go-ahead run.
Though the star’s foot injury may have appeared benign on first glance, she later revealed that the knock caused some of the toenails on her left foot to fall off.
Despite her obvious discomfort, Alexander gritted through the pain and finished out a respectable performance in the circle. But the Sooners won 6-3, forcing a decisive third game against the Dukes scheduled for the following day.
Alexander then had a decision to make: play on an injured foot once more or watch her team fight for a spot in the championships from the dugout. She chose the former.
“Blood, sweat, and tears,” Alexander said, per the Los Angeles Times. “I was going to keep pitching for my teammates.”
Odicci Alexander pitches against the Oklahoma Sooners.
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
Alexander started at pitcher for JMU in its win-or-go-home finale against top-ranked Oklahoma Monday afternoon, dragging her injured foot through the dirt with every pitch she threw.
And when, in fifth inning, Dukes head coach Lauren LaPorte pulled her star from the circle one final time, the overwhelmingly pro-Sooners crowd on hand at the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, stadium rose to their feet in recognition of Alexander’s incredible WCWS campaign.
—Darren M. Haynes (@DarrenMHaynes) June 7, 2021
Even Alexander’s opponents applauded the pitcher’s brilliance throughout the tournament.
—Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) June 8, 2021
Sadly for Alexander and her teammates, JMU was beaten 7-1 by Oklahoma Monday afternoon.
The Sooners now advance to the best-of-three national championship series against the No. 10 Florida State Seminoles. Game one begins Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, and fans can watch live on ESPN.
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