Former East Hamilton High Softball Player Shaliyah Geathers Plays For Lady Vols

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - by John Shearer
Shaliyah Geathers following a recent home game
Shaliyah Geathers following a recent home game
- photo by John Shearer

As the University of Tennessee Lady Vols softball team gets ready to host an NCAA regional beginning Friday, it will feature a lineup made up largely of players from the softball hotbed of California.

About the only two Tennesseans who have been starting regularly are senior pitching ace Ellen Renfroe from Jackson and freshman outfielder Shaliyah Geathers, the latest in a long line of Lady Vol players from Chattanooga.

On the field, Ms. Geathers also has a unique distinction. In a power-happy Lady Vols lineup, she is a player known more for her speed.

“Even though we’ve got a lot of power in the lineup, you like those speedsters,” said co-head coach – and former UTC coach -- Karen Weekly, praising Ms. Geathers.

But despite the specialty skill, the graduate of East Hamilton High School has still managed to make a general contribution to the overall success of the Lady Vols, who are at 42-10 following the SEC tournament.

Going into the NCAA postseason, she has started 24 of 33 games, is batting .318, and has 8 RBIs.

“We’ve been really pleased with Shaliyah,” said coach Weekly. “She’s done a nice job pretty much any place we put her in the batting order.

“She hit leadoff for us in several games and came up big. She has been a good sparkplug, and when she gets us going, it really seems to be an energy booster for the whole team and everybody feeds off of it.”

Getting to play at Tennessee – a traditional power with two national runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2013 – has, in turn, been an energy boost for Ms. Geathers, who is thrilled to be a Lady Vol.

“It is very much a dream come true,” she said. “I always wanted to come here. I am excited so far.”

The daughter of Talmadge and Caroline Geathers developed her softball skills beginning at Ooltewah Middle School under current Tennessee Temple University coach Randy Crawford and while playing travel ball for Fury 95 under Tad Andrus.

Coach Andrus really helped develop her game during the summer and other off-season months, she said.

“He had me since I was 12,” she said. “He was a good influence for me for a long time. He was like my second dad, so I looked up to him for everything, and he was a great mentor through my whole softball career.”

Ms. Geathers enrolled at East Hamilton as a freshman in 2009 during its first year of existence, but was unable to play that first year due to an injury.

She also ran track in middle school, but had to focus on softball at East Hamilton. However, she was able to bring track to the sport through her athletic skills and became one of the top local high school players.

At East Hamilton, she played for Cara Stiles, a former Soddy Daisy and UTC standout, who resigned after last season to go on a mission trip around the world.

While she has been focusing on the strategy of getting on base and around them the best way she can while at Tennessee, Ms. Geathers also likes attention to detail off the field and is majoring in sociology and criminal justice.

“I’m really interested in the police department and investigating the crimes scenes,” she said. “I like the whole forensics part of police investigation.”

After graduating, she said she will likely move out of Tennessee, adding that she likes to try new experience and travel to new areas.

In the meantime, she hopes to keep traveling with Tennessee to successful places in softball.

“Playing here at Tennessee is a work in progress,” she said. “I love it.”

Jcshearer2@comcast.net


PHOTOS: East Hamilton Takes 6-AAA Baseball Title

Randy Smith: Bowl Projections Already?

Each morning as I scan the internet I find a few things that absolutely amaze me. Today was no exception. ESPN.com had several articles about the 2015 college football season. Among the articles were these; Mark Schlabach's Too Early Top 25 poll, and 2015 bowl projections. Are you kidding me???? We are still in the first week of May, with the start of the 2015 season almost four ... (click for more)

Corker, Alexander Say Budget Bill Is A Start, But Much Left To Do

Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander said the budget bill passed Tuesday was a first step, but much more work remains on balancing the federal budget. Senator Corker said,  “Left to my own accord this budget would look far different, but at the end of the day I believe it’s important for Congress to complete this basic tenet of governing and set the stage for a responsible ... (click for more)

More Paving To Begin Soon On Dayton Boulevard; Red Bank Budget Has No Tax Increase

Improvements and work along Dayton Boulevard will begin soon. At the Red Bank Commission meeting Tuesday night, City Manager Randall Smith received approval from the commissioners to enter into a contract with TDOT on the next phase of paving Dayton Boulevard. Resurfacing has recently been finished from Memorial Drive to Greenleaf Street. The upcoming work will continue up Dayton ... (click for more)

Dr. King Wouldn't Approve Of The Mayhem In Baltimore

I am mostly certain that Dr. King never meant for this kind of violence to happen.  I don't recall any of the protests he led not being peaceful.  He would most definitely not approve of people burning, looting, the complete and utter unnecessary mayhem, or anything like what happened in Baltimore. Do you really believe Dr. King would condone 8, 10, 12-year-old children ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Anti-Semitism Is Now Here

To those of the Jewish faith, the celebration of Passover every year is one of freedom. The sacred holidays, held in early April, commemorate the Exodus out of Egypt when Moses led the tribe of Israel from slavery to freedom. I believe it is one of the greatest stories in the Bible. On the other hand, the Jewish people of today are hardly free. Globally, anti-Semitic attacks in ... (click for more)