Lady Cats’ toughness impresses teammate

By Eric Butler, CNJ Correspondent

Alicia Odom, Clovis’ lone entry in this year’s North-South All-Star softball series, would have had enough to talk about anyway.

After being the designated hitter for the South in first game of Friday’s doubleheader at the Clovis High softball Complex, she was shifted to second base for the nightcap, a position she has never before played.

And, even though she lives in the same town where the games were taking place, the Clovis resident roomed with three strangers — albeit fellow all-stars — at a hotel.

But what happened Friday morning, when Odom’s face dramatically puffed up due to an allergic reaction, made the whole experience one she’ll likely never forget.

During the South practice, Odom’s swollen face caught the attention of one of her teammates as the team went through situation drills.

“Oh, it was horrible, it was scary,” said Jal’s Jami Smith, one of Odom’s roomates over the weekend. “She was catching back there and I was running the bases. I asked her if she was okay.

“She said she was fine but then said to coach (Charlene Reyes of Alamogordo), ‘Do I look poofy?’” Smith added. “She took off her helmet and her face was huge. By the time she got to the dugout, she was worse. Her hands were huge, her mouth was huge.”

Odom was taken to the hospital for help in reducing the swelling and later went on to play in both games of the South’s Friday night sweep of the North.

As best as she can discern, Odom believes that an orange she ate is the primary suspect for the sudden allergic fit.
“We don’t know for sure, but we went to the doctor and got some shots — some steroids and antibiotics,” Odom said.

“They (her teammates) were looking at me like I was crazy. I felt like the Nutty Professor, like I went from being little to just being huge and swollen.”

Another roommate, Carolyn Garcia of Carlsbad, hardly thought Odom was crazy. In fact, Garcia had even more admiration for the Clovis player after the incident.

“She is something else — she is such a great person,” Garcia said. “She’s got a great spirit. She was all smiling like nothing was going on and we were, like, ‘Dude.’
“I would have just gone home and gone to sleep, if it had been in my hometown,” Garcia added.