first_img Published on March 11, 2020 at 11:01 pm aekaylor@syr.edu | @cincinnallie Gregg thinks that her southern upbringing has contributed a lot to the kind of person she is, too. Nancy pushed her hard all her life to succeed in softball and with everything she does, she said, and that materialized as a fast player with an ability to hit gap-to-gap when needed.Gregg’s hometown of Hoover is a town full of lakes and creeks, and she’d often spend her summers when she is not playing softball by the lake with her family, she said. Not only is Gregg adjusting to a new culture, but she is also playing softball in a completely different setting. They practice indoors and travel more than previous teams she has been on. The situation is different, but it’s all the same sport, she said.“At the end of the day it’s all just who wants to compete and who wants to win more and who works the hardest,” Gregg said. “There’s teams in the South like that and teams here in the North like that.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img The average January temperature in Hoover, Alabama is 45 degrees. For Jamie Gregg, that meant she could play softball outdoors all year long. But now that she’s in Syracuse, Gregg had to adjust to the weather.“I had never seen snow before,” Gregg said.Last year, Gregg was a freshman at Mississippi State and had just one at bat the entire season — a strikeout. The Bulldogs primarily used her as a pinch-runner or defensive replacement in center field, but this season Gregg has batted leadoff in 16 of Syracuse’s 20 games. Mississippi State used her speed in certain situations, but Syracuse (10-10, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) uses her as an everyday player. She’s started all 20 games in center field and is third on the team in average and stolen bases, cementing a new role in the Orange’s offense.“I do know what it’s like to be on a team where you just never get a shot,” Gregg said. “I think I play the best when I have the most fun.”When Gregg was at Mississippi State, she was a two-and-a-half-hour drive away from home, and her mom, Nancy, could go to every game — the same way she had since Gregg was seven. At Hoover High School, Gregg hit .432 over two seasons and led the 7A class in Alabama in runs scored and stolen bases. After one year with the Bulldogs, though, she wanted to transfer, and her destination was over a thousand miles north.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“It’s hard not getting to see her (at Syracuse), not getting to go to all of her games like I was able to when she was in Mississippi,” Nancy said. “I had not missed a game since she started playing softball.”Despite the distance, Nancy has made it to a few games, she said. In October, she traveled to Syracuse and watched an exhibition game. In February, she flew down to Miami for the Felsberg Invitation — Syracuse’s opening weekend and one of five tournaments down south.Teammates call Gregg “‘Bama”, and the Orange’s social media account has even started to, too. When she hit a double against Rutgers on Feb. 14, the @cuseSB account tweeted, “BAMA AGAIN!!! Jamie comes thru with a two-bagger to cut the Rutgers lead in half! We trail 10-8.”last_img