Tag: Cadi Oliver

Leadership helps guide JSU student-athletes to give back

By Chris Allen Brown/Associate Editor

Don’t be alarmed if you see a 7-foot male wielding a chainsaw around Jacksonville, it’s just Norbertas Giga. If you spend more time looking around, you might even see several Jacksonville State volleyball players attempting to roll a fallen tree trunk to a more convenient spot.

Before asking why you may see these sights, maybe the first question should (jokingly) be towards JSU strength and conditioning coach Gavin Hallford and if helping move trees counts as their workout for the day.

The reason that should be the first question is simple — because asking why JSU student-athletes are helping is pointless.

Why? Just continue to look around.

There’s JSU head football coach John Grass with a chainsaw. JSU softball assistant coaches Mark Wisner and Julie Boland working on a patch of land. JSU head volleyball coach Terry Gamble, his son Kyle and daughter-in-law Reagan were all helping. JSU associate athletic director for media relations Josh Underwood is there, too.

Are you beginning to see the picture here?

The reason there are so many JSU student-athletes helping around campus is because the desire to help starts at the top; it starts with those with great influence.

There’s a reason Malcolm Drumwright and Mohamed Abuarisha came straight home from last week’s College Basketball Invitational semifinal game and immediately went to work. There’s a reason Jamie McGuire, Cadi Oliver, Stephanie Lewis and Sallie Beth Burch dropped what they were doing elsewhere around the state to come back home to help.

Because it’s what they were taught to do. Helping those in need has become a staple of what Jacksonville State University is all about.

For years now, the communities surrounding Jacksonville State have traveled to support these student-athletes during sporting events, so it should come as no surprise that these same players … humans … are working around the city to help give back, to help rebuild but most importantly to help show they care.

Think back to JSU softball’s annual Fan Day. Head coach Jana McGinnis rarely does much talking at the event, but when she does, there’s always a ringing statement that’s forever imprinted on minds:

“I hope you (the fans) will consider us as your favorite team because this is home and we are always here for you.”

It may take several months — maybe a year even — before the restorations on Pete Mathews Coliseum, University Field and Rudy Abbott Field are completed, so when the football players are lined up to kick off the 2018 season, just remember to be sure to be at Burgess-Snow Field at JSU Stadium to cheer on those guys who came to help when you needed it most.

JSU Softball drops final game of series to TTU

After a win by both JSU and Tennessee Tech on Saturday, the Gamecocks tried to win the last game of the series but came up short a run losing 7-6.

Tennessee Tech had been down by two runs since the end of the sixth inning. As the game headed into the seventh with the score still at 6-4, it seemed like it would end with a Gamecock victory. However, three runs from TTU including a final walk-off allowed them to edge away with a victory.

Sara Borders led the team in runs with two. Ella Denes, Cadi Oliver, Melanie Steer and Emily Woodruff all had one run each.

With the Gamecocks not scoring in the first inning, the Golden Eagles jumped out in the lead first on a Hannah Eldridge run. A scoreless second inning by both teams brought JSU into the third still down by only one. Again the Gamecocks went scoreless and TTU capitalized by scoring two more runs to bring the score to 3-0.

In the top of the fourth, Oliver stepped up to bat and finally homered to right field to give JSU their first score of the game. Steer then stepped up and followed suit bringing JSU to within one of the Golden Eagles after they failed to score in the fourth.

The Gamecocks got their third run from Borders in the fifth, while a homer from TTU’s Olivia Bennett put them up 4-3 as the game headed into the sixth.

After Oliver was hit by a pitch, it sent Woodruff to home plate with a score. The score sat tied at four. Stephanie Lewis singled allowing both Borders and Denes to score. JSU then had the lead at 6-4 as they headed into the final stretch of the game.

However, the Golden Eagles could not be stopped as they scored two in a row on a Baylie Cruse single. After that, it was Madison Taylor that hit the walk-off that sent Christian Gibbs home for the win.

The Gamecocks fall to 26-13 and 9-5 in conference play. They will play an out-of-conference match against Georgia Tech at home on April 15.

Rebekah Hawkins
Staff Writer

JSU Softball ends weekend in Illinois with a victory

JSU Sportswire
JSU Sportswire

The Jacksonville State softball team spent the weekend in Illinois where they dropped two games to SIU Edwardsville and split a two game series with Eastern Illinois.

The Lady Gamecocks ended the weekend with a 24-11 overall record and an 8-3 record in conference play.

The Lady Gamecocks fell in back-to-back games to SIUE on Saturday with scores of 2-1 and 8-2.

Jacksonville State traveled to Eastern Illinois on Sunday where they lost the first game again, 2-1.

In the loss to the Panthers, the Lady Gamecocks took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. They held on to the 1-0 lead until the sixth inning when Eastern Illinois grabbed two runs to take the lead for good.

Jordan Bullock collected three hits while Cadi Oliver had two. Emily Woodruff, Sara Borders and Ella Denes each had one. Woodruff also added an RBI for the Lady Gamecocks.

In the second game, the Lady Gamecocks won 5-1.

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. The Lady Gamecocks earned three runs in the fifth and one in the sixth and seventh to claim a 5-1 win.

Woodruff collected three hits while Savannah Sloan had two. Oliver, Denes, Whitney Gillespie and Borders each had one. Woodruff had three RBI’s and Gillespie had one.

Next, JSU Softball will play Alabama State at home on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

Chris Hubbard
Staff Writer

Gillespie led Gamecocks in sweep over Tigers

Matt Reynolds/JSU Sportswire
Matt Reynolds/JSU Sportswire

It was a marvelous weekend for the Jacksonville State softball team as they faced Ohio Valley Conference opponent Tennessee State and managed to win in all three games over the weekend for a sweep.

The Gamecocks had already pulled off a 10-0 victory in game one and then a 4-0 victory in their second game. The final game of the weekend series saw the Tigers finally manage to score a run against the Gamecocks before they scored six to take the final win of the series.

It was certainly a winning weekend for Whitney Gillespie who helped lift the Gamecocks to a victory with her homer in the fourth inning. She also struck out four of Tennessee State’s batters with her pitching. Ella Denes also contributed to the win with two runs of her own.

It wasn’t until the bottom of the second inning when points were put on the board by either team. The Gamecocks scored first on Denes’ first run of the game after a Cadi Oliver double. At the top of the third, Tennessee State would score it’s first and only run of the game which broke a scoreless streak by the Tigers that goes back to 2013.

The game stayed tied until the bottom of the fourth when the Gamecocks got down to business and scored four runs in the inning. It began with Gillespie’s homer at the beginning of the inning.

After that, it took a double from Taylor Sloan to get the ball rolling that would eventually send Denes to home plate with her second run, and Oliver right behind her with the Gamecock’s third run of the fourth inning.

The final run of the fourth came after a Stephanie Lewis hit that would get Taylor Sloan out but send Savannah Sloan home for the run.

The Gamecocks were up 5-1 as the top of the fifth inning began. No one would score again until JSU sent Jordan Bullock into home with the sixth and final run of the game at the bottom of the sixth inning.

TSU’s lone run was scored by Tayler Shimizu who stole home for her contributing point after her teammate Courtney Gearlds took second.

JSU moves to 23-8 while being undefeated in conference play. They prepare for a set of away games against SIU Edwardsville on April 3. The Gamecocks play Eastern Illinois the following day. They look to continue their undefeated streak in OVC play.

Rebekah Hawkins
Staff Writer

JSU Softball sweeps Cleveland State in home opener

The Gamecocks came home to University Field for the first time this season and swept opponent Cleveland State by scores of 6-2 and 5-3.

In game one, Whitney Gillespie led the team in home runs with two. Behind Gillespie was Sara Borders with one. Pitcher Taylor West also had four strikeouts in the opening game against CSU.

Game two saw Cadi Oliver hit two home runs in front of leader Gillespie who also had one.

At the top of the first inning, CSU took the lead early when Cynthia Wood homered to center. The score went up 2-0 in the Vikings’ favor before the Gamecocks were given an opportunity to shine. It took no time for Borders to send a homer up to make the score 2-1 at the end of the first inning.

Cleveland State didn’t score any points in the second inning which led to the Gamecocks tying it up on another Gillespie home run in the bottom of the second. The Vikings were also scoreless in the third, so JSU moved ahead with runs by Stephanie Lewis and Jordan Bullock. They were helped along by Taylor Sloan and Borders who both singled to get their teammates to home. 

The score moved up to 5-2 at the end of the third and led into two scoreless innings for both teams. It was at the bottom of the sixth when the Gamecocks had their final home run of the game by Gillespie.

The final score was 6-2 after CSU failed to score again in the seventh.

The second game saw the Vikings fail to score until the top of the fourth inning. By that time, the Gamecocks were already ahead by five. The Vikings managed to score another run in the top of the sixth.  After JSU went scoreless in the bottom of the sixth, they did not score again. The game ended with the Gamecocks ahead 5-3. 

JSU moves to 15-7 and will travel to UAB to play the Blazers before they come home to play their OVC opener in a doubleheader against UT Martin.

Rebekah Hawkins
Staff Writer