Warming trend: As temperatures rise, Mesa’s Jordan plays better

Photo by Dean Humphrey—Mesa State’s Dani Vallie bunts to advance a runner Friday in the second game of a doubleheader with Colorado Mines at Bergman Field. The Mavs won the first game 1-0 and lost the second 8-0.

Something felt eerily strange, yet so familiar Friday to Sara Jordan.

As the Mesa State pitcher was warming up, she couldn’t quite figure out why she felt so good. Then it hit her — it was warm.

“I think that has a lot to do with the warm and it was humid today,” Jordan said. “It was more like home.

“It really is the heat. My body’s just loose and I’m focused. It’s a lot different than playing with a chill in the air.”

When it’s warm and just a bit sticky, the Texan feels right at home.

“The weather should be warm all the time,” she said, laughing.

She was perfect through 3 2/3 innings and ended up throwing a three-hit shutout in a 1-0 victory over Colorado School of Mines at Bergman Field.

The Mavericks, who lost to Mines 8-0 in five innings in the second game, face CU-Colorado Springs at 3 this afternoon. Mines and Fort Lewis play at 11 this morning, with Fort Lewis and UCCS playing Sunday at 11 a.m.

Jordan (6-7) only struck out one batter and walked one, instead getting a good mix of ground balls and pop flies.

The one time Jordan was in any kind of trouble was in the sixth, when Kaleigh Starr singled just past a lunging Katie Mitchell at short and Allysia Cisneros singled in the hole at short on a hit-and-run.

Mitchell, though, gloved a ground ball to start an inning-ending double play.

Jordan drove in the game’s only run in the first inning.

Danie Vallie drew a leadoff walk and with two out, Jordan doubled to right-center.

The second game was completely different as the clouds rolled in.

Cierra Lard allowed two runs in the first inning and threw two wild pitches in 21⁄3 innings, leaving down 3-0. Jordan got the Mavs (14-14, 12-14 RMAC) out of the inning but the Orediggers (17-20, 13-15) touched her for five runs in the fourth, all with two out.

Six straight hits, including a two-run home run by Sarah Van Lingen, put the game out of reach.

Mines’ Kelly Unkrich threw a one-hitter, with Parra beating out an infield single off Unkrich’s glove in the first inning.

Unkrich’s unorthodox delivery — she slaps her thigh twice with her glove, once before the throws the ball and again after her release — had the Mavericks thrown off.

“She’s good, but she’s real jerky and moves in and out when she’s pitching,” Jordan said. “She does have a good changeup. She’s not real smooth, she’s real jerky, so it’s difficult not to focus on that.”


Mesa State gave up two runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to lose 7-6 at Metro State.

The Mavericks (22-12, 18-8 RMAC) had taken a 6-5 lead in the top of the 10th when Austin Buck walked and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Shelton, but they couldn’t hold on.

Closer Jack Amidei gave up a leadoff home run by Bradshaw Perry in the bottom of the 10th and was relieved by Derek Riley.

He walked David Kaplan, but got a fly ball and a groundout, moving Kaplan to second.

T.J. Stastny relieved Riley, but gave up a pinch-hit single to Evan Claus to score the winning run.

Mesa scored four runs in the sixth inning to rally from a 3-1 deficit, but allowed two runs in the bottom of the eighth to send the game into extra innings.


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