Jordan’s no-hitter, solid bat lift Mavericks to sweep of Mustangs
Sara Jordan didn’t feel well this week. You couldn’t tell Saturday on the softball field.
The Mesa State College junior pitched a no-hitter and was 3 for 7 with two solo home runs to lead the Mavericks to a sweep of Western New Mexico. Mesa defeated the Mustangs 8-0 and 7-4 in a RMAC doubleheader at Bergman Field.
Jordan was coughing and sneezing so much from allergies, chest congestion and sinus congestion, she was taking antibiotics.
“I was sick this week,” Jordan said. “I’ve been on antibiotics. I threw more off-speed in that game than in the past two years I’ve been here. I’ve always thrown hard and my drop never works and today it does. I think it’s my body. I’m not real strong right now, so it’s helping me relax and focus on spinning the ball instead of overpowering (the hitters).”
Jordan walked the first batter she faced but retired 14 of the next 15 batters for the no-hitter. Gabi Parra made a diving catch in the second inning and second baseman Lisa Pille made a sliding catch on the foul line in the fifth to preserve Jordan’s gem.
Jordan had plenty of help from the offense with Dani Vallie, Parra and Stacy Ball hitting home runs. Ball was 2 for 3 with three RBI in a rare start.
“I came out really pumped up, really excited to do what I could do for the team,” Ball said. “It was an awesome time to prove myself again.”
There were no records of a Mesa State softball pitcher throwing a no-hitter. Cassie Phillips threw a one-hitter against CU-Colorado Springs in 2007.
“It’s been a long time,” Mesa State coach Kris Mort said. “I couldn’t tell you who or when. Quite honestly, I didn’t notice it until all of a sudden that ground ball went into play and I looked up to the board and said, ‘She just threw a no-hitter.’
“It was a great performance. The fact she was a little bit sick, took a little power off the ball. She said she hasn’t thrown the off-speed in a long time. It worked. Her ball was moving well. As a result, she didn’t complete two times through the lineup. That’s (usually) three innings worth of work.”
Mort stayed with Jordan for the second game and planned on pulling her, but didn’t with the way she swung the bat. Jordan was 2 for 4 with two solo home runs.
“Our objective was to get her far enough through to where she faced every hitter four times,” Mort said. “By the time she got through the fourth, I said, ‘I need you to go one more so I can have you come around to the plate again.’ “
Jordan, who is normally the Mavericks’ designated player, was listed as the pitcher in the lineup because Megan Smith couldn’t catch because of swelling in her knees, Mort said. Smith hit in the DP position and Mort gambled that Jordan would pitch well and Ball coming through at the plate.
The Mavericks, though, fell behind 4-2 on a couple of miscues in the fifth and had to rally in the second game, scoring four runs in the sixth.
Lita Romero led off with a double and Vallie singled and advanced to second when she noticed no one covering the base. Parra singled home Romero and one out later, Smith reached on an error, allowing two runs to score. Parra scored on a passed ball.
“We played really hard today,” Mort said. “We’ve been trying to get better and go a little bit harder every day and find a little bit more range and a little more aggressiveness at the plate. It’s the right time to get better. You see other teams losing interest in it. These kids are staying interested. They’re focused on getting better every day.”