So what if I said the best arm at the University of Oregon isn’t on the football field? If you’ve seen an Oregon softball game this year, chances are Jordan Dail has been in the circle. She’s thrown 232 innings through 36 games this season and she doesn’t plan on letting up.
“Well I didn’t come here to sit the bench,” said Dail. “So regardless if there were five pitchers on the roster or just me, my goal was to pitch. Whether that was never innings or 700 innings. My goal was to pitch and help this team win.”
The sophomore southpaw from Lynchburg, Virginia originally wanted to play baseball with her younger brother. But with some convincing from her dad, she signed up for little league softball at the age of 10. And when she took the circle for the first time, there was no looking back.
“I was at that age where if you walk too many batters, the dad or the coach would have to come in and pitch,” said Dail. “And I got tired of watching all the pitchers walk everyone. So, I told my dad I wanted to try pitching because I was sick of standing in the outfield. So that’s how my journey began. I wanted to be in control and do it myself.”
Pitchers are so mentally tough when they are in the circle. Dail gets her mental toughness and competitive edge from her mom and dad.
“They’re both very different from each other. I get my attitude from my mom and my sports smarts and knowledge of how to play the game from my dad.”
The confidence Dail displays in the circle is second to none.
“Hitters see everything. If you’re down and out, they obviously pick up on that. So just being confident and have this demeanor on the mound that I am going to strike you out can sometimes be intimidating and get in their heads. So, it’s exciting to play with that and see how batters react to that.”
She’s been in every batters’ head this season, basically because she never comes off the field. She’s sent countless players back to the bench by tallying 229 strikeouts in 36 starts. But what’s even more impressive is her durability. Dail has thrown 70 more innings than any other pitcher in the Pac-12 this year. Despite workload, you’ll never see her sweat.
“Those people who are like, ‘Oh my gosh is her arm okay? She needs to relax. They’re putting so much pressure on her.’ I stay in shape. Don’t worry about me. Let me worry about me.”
No matter what she does, her grit and fight represents Oregon’s color well.
“Then if she has some outings that don’t go her way, it’s hard for her because she feels like she let the team down,” said Oregon head coach Melyssa Lombardi. “And I think about Jordan and for the amount of innings you’ve thrown, you are never ever letting us down. She’s a true competitor and she wants to give everything she’s got to this team and I appreciate that from her.”
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