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


Covenant's Hull Named USA South Rookie Of The Week

Covenant men's tennis freshman Logan Hull has been named the USA South Rookie of the Week, for the period ending Feb. 19, announced the conference  on Monday  afternoon. This week is the first for USA South tennis awards, so all stats accumulated through the spring were considered for the honor. The accolade is the first for Hull in his collegiate career. ... (click for more)

Georgia Northwestern Falls To Warren Wilson College, 85-58

On Saturday  in the regular season finale at the Rossville Athletic Center, the Georgia Northwestern Bobcats were looking to pull another upset and end the 2016-2017 campaign with a winning record. Unfortunately, the visitors from Warren Wilson (N.C.) College proved to be too much to handle. The Bobcats trailed 30-21 at halftime against the Owls, who entered ... (click for more)

Boyd Says He Is Not On Witch Hunt Against CVB, But Intends To Seek Full Audit Of Agency; Graham Backs Visitors Bureau 100%

County Commission Finance Chairman Tim Boyd has told Chattanooga Visitors Bureau President Bob Doak that he is "not on a witch hunt" against the CVB, but he said he intends to seek a full audit of the agency. He said he was inspired to "take an even closer look" at the Visitors Bureau after he said Mr. Doak "unleashing a fire storm of emails condemning my accusations." ... (click for more)

Man, Child Killed In Crash On Highway 136 In Walker County; 2nd Child Who Was Seriously Injured Dies On Monday

A man and an unrestrained five-year-old child were killed when a vehicle went out of control on Highway 136 in Walker County on Saturday. A 10-year-old in the car was seriously injured, and later died on Monday. The driver was thrown from the van and was dead at the scene. The five-year-old was trapped in the vehicle and also died at the wreck site at Ponder Creek Road. ... (click for more)

Judge Doug Meyer Lived A Full Life Helping Many

I was sadden to learn of the death of Judge Doug Meyer.  Judge Meyer retired from the Criminal Court bench here in 2006.  Prior to that he had been the Chattanooga city judge for several years.  As a young attorney I tried many cases in front of Judge Meyer.  Also while I was awaiting my case to be tried, I would observe him on the bench.  Judge Meyer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Illegals Cost Us Billions

We learned over the weekend that John Kelly, our new Secretary of Homeland Security, has just prepared two strongly-worded memos that could greatly enhance federal authorities to detain and/or deport illegal immigrants both inside the United States and those caught at our borders. All rational United States citizens know we have a horrible problem with illegals – in 2010 the annual ... (click for more)