ETSU Signs Cienega Pitcher Alexa Cashby Andy Morales on Nov. 19, 2009, under Sports
She did it without the media hype. She is unassuming and quiet. Her dad is her sometimes coach and her mom has been seen keeping score but they have stayed in the background, quietly preparing their daughter for the spotlight rather than demanding it or even seeking it. They aren’t “connected.” (Well, they are related to Johnny Cash).
The Buccaneers of Eastern Tennessee State signed Cienega pitcher Alex Cash at precisely 7:14 pm last night. Why? Because 14 is her favorite number.
Former Marana catcher Marlina Delisa is entering her sophomore year there. She was named to the all Atlantic Sun All-Academic Team.
I had a chance to talk with her future college coach, Andrea Mangrum, about Alexa and her team:
TC: Can you give me some of your thoughts on Alexa and what she means to the team?
She is a coach’s dream because of her ability to play defense and hit when she is not on the mound! She throws a hard ball with great movement, so that will bring a new mix to our pitching staff. The sky is the limit for her future at ETSU. I believe she has the chance to be one of the best players on our conference and help take this program to places it has never been before. She is also a very composed athlete who handles the pressures of the game in a very mature manner. This will be key for her success as a freshman at this level.
TC: I noticed you have two pitchers who will graduate this year (Marissa Hardy and Darci Gilbert) – how does Alexa fit in the future of your team?
The senior class we are losing was my 1st recruiting class here at ETSU. They have been program changers for us and will leave here being 4 year starters. It was a challenge to replace such amazing young ladies both on and off the field. The 2 pitchers we are losing have been such a cornerstone in the progression of this program. Most D1 schools have to bring in 1 elite pitcher every recruiting class, but we had to bring in 2. I feel so blessed to have accomplished that goal and am honored to have the opportunity to coach Alexa for the next 4 years.
TC: Also, can you give me some quotes on former Marana High School catcher Marlina Delisa?
Marlina came out with a bang her freshmen year. She was a key hitter in our lineup for most of the
season. We expect her to be a key component in our offense again this year. She has improved tremendously with her quickness and game awareness as a catcher. She has worked hard in the off season to get stronger and it shows with her power at the plate. She is a joy to have on the team and is doing a great job representing our program. She opened up some doors in the Tucson area and as you can see it has helped with the signing of Alexa. We hope this relationship grows and more young ladies want to spend their college career at ETSU!
TC: Anything else you would like to add about your team would be great.
We are a very solid academic team and our players demonstrate great character on and off the field. I believe those components off the field, make us great on the field. My staff believes in discipline and team work because we know that talent is never enough. We want our players to leave our program and make a position impact in society. We are involved in community service throughout the year and it has helped our players see that giving is more rewarding than receiving. I love being called “coach” because I know I am the once influencing my players on a daily basis. My staff is very positive and we have 4 core values in our program: pride, attitude, character, and teamwork. We work hard to instill these within every player’s heart because we know these are more important than winning and losing on the field. And if we execute these values we will be successful on the field.
This makes the fourth player for Eric Tatham’s Cienega team to be signed to a D I school this year: Morgan Doughty, Colorado State; Emily Pohl, Colorado State and Ashlee Brawley, Arizona
Cienega High School has six athletes signed when you add Jacquie Cason for Volleyball at UTEP and Sun Park for Golf at Yale. This is the most impressive signing list in Southern Arizona.
Alexa’s mom told me she was excited but on the phone she sounded like her normal self. She told me the campus was beautiful and the coach was great when she visited ETSU earlier this month, “Marlina was awesome.”
“I want to thank all my coaches, the Thunder organization under Tony Rascon for giving me my first national exposure, my current coaches and my teammates. I wouldn’t be here without them.”
ETSU gave Alex a full-ride (she has to pay for her own food). We joked that the no food clause would have been a deal breaker for many teenagers. “I think I’ll survive.”
I think she will too.