Alaina Jacobson was recruited to pitch for Lipscomb while she was a high school student, but she decided to stay in her home state and play for the University of Missouri. After her freshman year she wanted a change and thought that Lipscomb would be a good fit for her. She pitched on the first team to ever participate in the NCAA Tournament. She would later go on to obtain her nursing degree at Saint Louis University and works at a hospital in St. Louis in the cardiac care unit. After a long shift she was gracious enough to spend some with Lipscombsports.com.
What years did you play softball at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I played from 2007 through 2010. Kristin Ryman was the head coach. Lexi Myers was the pitching coach. Amber Wood was also an assistant my sophomore year."
Why did you decide to attend Lipscomb?
"I thought Lipscomb would be good for me coming from a background of a small town (Crocker, Missouri). I played at Missouri my freshman year.
"I felt like I had a good connection when I talked with Kristin about transferring. I felt like Lipscomb was going to be a better fit for me as a university, not only for softball but from an education standpoint as well.
"Lipscomb recruited me in high school. But since I was from Missouri going to Mizzou was one of my goals growing up. I didn't realize at the time Lipscomb would have been a better fit for me. So when I decided to transfer I reached out to Kristin. Lipscomb ended up being a good place where I could grow as a person and study and have professors who knew your name on the second day of class which is pretty impressive after being at a bigger school the year before when nobody knew you at all. It definitely was a blessing."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"Just being able to be with the team I was with an experiencing things like the bus rides and the late night studying. The girls really embraced me even though I was someone who didn't play there as a freshman.
"Winning the Atlantic Sun Conference my senior year was really fun. It was pretty amazing to have been on the first team to play in the NCAA Tournament. I still tell people today that I work with about it. Lipscomb was small. It was really amazing we were able to beat bigger schools.
"A lot of the bigger teams didn't even know we were on the map. In the NCAA Regional at Tuscaloosa I think we snuck up on Alabama even though we lost to them in the region finals. We knew what we were capable of. It was really fun to play them."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"I worked really closely with Lexi. She helped me overcome a lot of the mental blocks I had, especially coming out of Mizzou. I had to embrace my confidence again. I had to have confidence in myself and the team.
"I think Lexi had a big impact on that in helping me put everything together. It was about the Lipscomb mentality. We were a team. Softball was important. But it was also about having a good education and that the things that you do learn playing an NCAA Division I sport can affect you for the rest of your life."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"It was getting my biology degree and having that support. Dr. G (Kent Gallaher) and Dr. (Jon) Lowrance still check up on me on Facebook.
"It seems strange, but having that biology professor remember my name the second day of class really had an effect on my education.
"I could stop in a professor's office and talk about things that were going on in my life. The year after I graduated I would stop in and chat. They were still there for me. That is a cool thing that Lipscomb has for its students."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"It is the integrity Lipscomb brings into the education process. It really taught me that having a community is important in life. It was about having people you trust and growing up in a safe environment in a place that wasn't just focused on how much money you were paying. They were invested in you as a person. It is really wonderful thing."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"I would have to say Dr. Lowrance and Dr. Gallaher. I went to Washington, D.C., on a biology department trip with Dr. Gallaher. Dr. Lowrance was my advisor.
"The classes were so hard, but I enjoyed the time they put into it for the students.
"I could pop in their offices and talk about anything with them. They were really flexible with my schedule. It was hard to take tests sometimes because of softball games. They would work with me and help out when I needed to ask them questions. You would never get that at a big school."
Where do you live now?
"I live in St. Louis, Missouri."
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I work as a cardiac nurse in the cardiovascular ICU at Mercy Hospital. I am also one of the charge nurses. I work with staff scheduling, answering questions at night and dealing with families that might be upset.
"We cover open heart surgeries and vascular surgeries. We take on patients with heart attacks, coronary bypasses and grafts and aneurysms. They come straight from surgery to us."
Tell us about your family.
"I have been dating my boyfriend, Dane Blackwood, for three years.
"My sister Marley, still lives in Nashville with her husband.
"My parents (Lynn and Doug) are doing well. We all ran the Heart of America marathon together in Columbia, Missouri in 2014."
My email address is email@example.com.