Former JMU standout Odicci Alexander one of two national team players at Vertex Performance facility

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – Odicci Alexander was a standout pitcher at James Madison and helped the Dukes make a deep run into the NCAA postseason tournament in 2021.

Alexander, from the Mecklenburg County seat of Boydton about 140 miles west of Norfolk, led JMU to a 41-4 record and was a key part of the unseeded Dukes reaching the Women’s College World Series semifinals, in the processing leading them to wins over No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 5 Oklahoma State.

Her diving tag at the plate to save a run against Oklahoma State was the No. 1 play of the Women’s College World Series and the top play on ESPN’s SportsCenter.

And when JMU later lost to Oklahoma to finish out its time in the World Series, the crowd gave Alexander a standing ovation.

World Games gold medalist Janae Jefferson, meanwhile, was a standout utility player at the University of Texas and a first-team All-Big 12 player, leading the Longhorns this year to their first Women’s College World Series berth since 2013.

Both are on the national team, and both were also at the Vertex Performance facility in Newport News helping coach the next generation of softball players.

Jefferson said it was humbling for her to have other girls look up to her.

“It’s just an inspiration that I can be that role model for them in a way,” Jefferson said.

Alexander, who has been playing professionally and is also an assistant coach for the Howard University softball team, said she welcomes the opportunity to give back to the game.

“I just get joy from it,” Alexander said. “I love seeing people chase those dreams, live those dreams and just be the best them, so I get joy from it just watching these girls grow into being, like, these great athletes, and just great people.”