Odicci Alexander signs to play for Athletes Unlimited

Odicci Alexander, the energetic pitcher who led James Madison’s storybook run to the Women’s College World Series semifinals, has signed a contract to play professional softball for Athletes Unlimited.

”I’m very excited and will be forever grateful for the opportunity to continue my professional softball career and show my passion and love for the game,” Alexander said in a statement. “Softball has given me so much, and it is a dream come true to compete on the same field with so many other talented athletes that I have idolized for years.“

Alexander burst onto the scene when she threw complete game victories to lead the unseeded Dukes past No. 1 seed Oklahoma and No. 5 seed Oklahoma State on the first days of the Women’s CWS earlier this month. Her play was among the main reasons ESPN garnered record ratings for the event.

The Softball America Pitcher of the Year and NFCA second-team All-American led James Madison to a 41-4 record. She had an 18-3 record and a 1.71 ERA with 204 strikeouts in 143 2/3 innings. She also was named to WCWS All-Tournament Team.

This will be Athletes Unlimited’s second softball season. The organization crowns an individual champion from a 60-player roster of the sport’s top players. Games will be held at Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont, Illinois, from August 28 to September 27, and players score points toward determining a champion. Team USA star Cat Osterman will return to defend her title.

Alexander joins Athletes Unlimited after signing a professional contract with the USSSA Pride last week. In her debut against Team Mexico last Thursday, she allowed three earned runs in six innings and struck out eight.

Other new additions to the Athletes Unlimited roster include Arizona’s Jessie Harper and Alyssa Denham and Louisiana-Lafayette’s Ciara Bryan.

Team USA members Ali Aguilar and Kelsey Stewart also have signed. Stewart is back for a second year.

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Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.

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