Turning MS into her message: LCU outfielder uses diagnosis to inspire others

KLBK Sports

LUBBOCK, Texas — LCU junior outfielder Alexa Riggs has seen plenty of success over the course of her softball career. In 2018 her high school softball team won the NMAA State 5A Softball Championship game, and from there she decided to continue her career at Lubbock Christian University.

During her freshman season Riggs posted a .312 batting average, driving in 28 runs and making All-Heartland second team. What some people might not know, is that she’s doing all that while battling Multiple Sclerosis.

When she was in high school Riggs said her grandmother had a fall that caused a brain injury. From there doctors were able to determine that she has MS, and encouraged Riggs to get tested as well.

“One day I was coming home from softball practice and my Dad sat me down at the table so I knew something was wrong,” Riggs said. “He just told me the doctors found some lesions on your brain and all I knew was my grandma and how it had affected her so I was like well what does my future hold?”

Through working with her doctors Riggs said she was able to keep the dream alive of playing collegiate ball, and she found her perfect fit at LCU.

Riggs said she was in Lubbock for a volleyball tournament when she was introduced to LCU Head Softball Coach Daren Hays.

“We always talk about your circumstances don’t determine what kind of person you are but how you deal with them is what determines the kind of person you are,” Hays said. “She’s dealt with this with flying colors.”

MS had never presented much of a problem for Riggs until the weekend of February 20th, 2021, when LCU had a tournament in Canyon, Texas.

“I had noticed I was striking out that weekend a lot and I was getting frustrated,” Riggs said. “The next two days after that I started getting really sick and then anything I was focusing on would go black.”

Riggs said she told two of her LCU professors in the Exercise and Sports Sciences department what was going on. Riggs said she credits both Monica Williams and Sarah Maddox for helping her through one of the most difficult times in her life. Williams ended up driving Riggs to the hospital and waited with her until family arrived.

After three days at University Medical Center, Riggs said doctors were not able to find anything new or active. Despite what seems to be positive news, Riggs said she continues to have problems with her sight, which has left her sidelined this season.

“My Dad actually got emotional about not knowing if he had watched me play my last game,” Riggs said. “I want to play for my parents.”

While the future of her softball career is unknown, Riggs said she’s using this time as an opportunity to not only grow her faith, but be a positive light to her teammates as well.

“I think it’s worth it to prove it to myself that I can push my limits,” Riggs said. “I keep praying to understand it and make me a role model to others and use it to build other’s faith.”

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