The Mississippi State softball team has issued a challenge to its SEC rivals that has little to do with the diamond and everything to do with persistence.
You may have heard of Alex Wilcox, the beloved Mississippi State softball player who passed away from ovarian cancer in her hometown of Brantley, Alabama, on June 25. She was 18.
To honor her memory and spread awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer, the Bulldogs have challenged fellow teams to hold a wall sit for 4 minutes and 28 seconds. That’s what Wilcox did at practice last spring just days after finishing a round of chemotherapy.
Here’s the video MSU put together to announce the challenge:
Four Minutes. 28 Seconds. Wall Sit.— MSU Softball (@HailStateSB) October 2, 2018
Alex Wilcox didn’t let rounds of chemo stop her from taking down that obstacle!
Today, we challenge our fellow @SEC softball programs to our #428WallSitChallenge to spread awareness for ovarian cancer.#NoOneFightsAlone💙 | #HailState🐶 pic.twitter.com/DIbV9fLb9I
“Alex had an uncommon ability to turn obstacles into opportunities,” one teammate says in the video.
The response to the Bulldogs' challenge has been tremendous. Softball teams throughout the NCAA have showed their support:
We accepted @HailStateSB’s #428WallSitChallenge in honor of Alex Wilcox alongside our friends at @csusports. Now, we’d like to extend the challenge to @FurmanSoftball and @CofCSoftball. #NoOneFightsAlone pic.twitter.com/wG5Wkxkfm3— Gamecock Softball (@GamecockSoftbll) October 7, 2018
Joining with @HailStateSB and all the other schools for the #428WallSitChallenge in memory of Alex Wilcox and in support against Ovarian Cancer. #GeauxTeal #NoOneFightsAlone pic.twitter.com/AzLEfZNxHZ— FSU Softball (@FSU_Softball) October 4, 2018
Wilcox was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015. She continued to play softball and signed with the Bulldogs in 2016.
Despite being in the midst of chemotherapy, Wilcox appeared in eight contests with three starts over her freshman season. She had three hits in her 15 at bats, including her first collegiate hit against UMass Lowell in March. Wilcox was named to the SEC Honor Roll in the spring.
Alex was a STATUE on the wall that day, I wish everyone could have seen it! Our forever example of strength and grit. Hands down the coolest thing we’ve ever done. 🦋 #428WallSitChallenge https://t.co/8evAkwA9R0— Carmen Carter (@carcarter25) October 2, 2018
Wilcox’s No. 8 jersey was retired during a halftime ceremony of a Mississippi State football game in September. She is the first female student-athlete in Mississippi State history to have her jersey retired.
On Saturday, we fight for more than just Mississippi State.— MSU Football 🏈 (@HailStateFB) September 14, 2018
In memory of one of our own, and in support of those whose battles with ovarian cancer continue. Today and every day, we fight for Alex Wilcox, because #NoOneFightsAlone. pic.twitter.com/5YsHHNgffB
Callan Sheridan is a graduate of Saint Peter's University and has produced content for The Press Enterprise, the American Junior Golf Association and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Follow her on twitter at @calsh_13.