by Staff Writers – Fastpitch Network
NCAA teams all across America began playing this weekend. It wont be too hard to find a Division-1 Game as teams head toward warm weather states to play ball. Fastpitch Network followed Alcorn State University Braves led by Head Coach Josef Rankin to Vicksburg, Mississippi where they hosted teams such as The Kentucky State Thouroghbreds, Southeastern Baptist College (MS), Grambling State University (LA), Rust College (MS), Jackson State University (MS) and Tennessee State University. Alcorn State finished runner up to Alabama State University in the SWAC conference championship in 2021 and are looking to win the championship this year.
Like many other teams across the nation Alcorn avoids conference games. Teams will travel to play teams in other conferences. Georgia for example is in Orlando for the weekend playing schools such as Longwood (VA) to get their team ready for conference play. Braves Coach Rankin is evaluating players for future SWAC conference games as he rotates them in and out of the lineup to test them against different type of pitchers. He also has to consider defensive capabilities and his pitchers abilities vs various hitters on opposing teams. As of this report Alcorn is starting strong with 2 shutouts and a deceptive 8-3 loss in what was an 8 inning 1-1 pitching dual. The Braves do not appear to be hurting for pitching at all.
Not only do the players get their chance to audition before their coach and in front of their teammates, this opening weekend the coaches are also auditioning assistants. After the Brave’s loss we were curious who was calling pitches for the Alcorn Braves and discovered Coach Rankin had a new assistant calling pitches (not officially listed as of this report). While that game did not end the way they wanted it to, 8 innings of good work were put forward by the new assistant along with those 2 shutout games. She is off to a good start in her career at Alcorn.
Alcorn State University is located in Loriman MS and is an HBCU on a beautiful wide open campus. If you would like to follow the Braves on their quest to win their SWAC conference this year you can follow them at: