Dream becomes reality for Jordan

Published 1:40 am Wednesday, February 4, 2009

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
GREENVILLE — What started out as a joke, or at the very least an idea that was never taken too seriously, has now transformed into reality for Nicole Jordan … and she couldn’t be happier.
Back in the day when Jordan was slugging softballs at Jamesville High School, the second baseman used to kid that one day she would be playing for East Carolina University in the same manor that little leaguers boast about what MLB team they will star on when they get older.
The funny thing is that neither did Pirates’ 12th year coach Tracey Kee, who wasn’t aware of Jordan even after her Bullets made a run at the NCHSAA 1-A state title during her senior year in 2006.
Jordan may not have been on Kee’s radar upon graduating from Jamesville, but after leading all NJCAA hitters with a .589 batting average her freshman season it’s safe to assume that her gaudy statistics caught the Kee’s eye.
At Pitt, Jordan was named first team All-Region X Conference and finished her career with a .489 batting average, 59 RBIs and 54 stolen bases.
Jordan, who considered herself more of a defensive player when she starred for Richie Ange’s Bullets, said she was caught off guard by her early success.
Jordan followed up her freshman campaign with a stellar .344 batting average in her sophomore year. Jordan felt it could have been higher if not for some nagging injuries and some mental miscues.
Jordan said she is completely healthy as she heads into spring training, which is important because she is going to have to play at full speed to catch up to the rest of the Pirates.
Kee said the junior second baseman is a step behind her teammates because she was not enrolled at East Carolina when the team was holding its fall practice.
“Coming out of junior college it’s a large transition to Div. I, it’s almost as hard as making the leap from high school to Div. I,” Kee said. “I think for her, missing out on our fall has really affected her game some what. Meaning, she wasn’t enrolled at ECU and was not even practicing until January. So she is trying to cram six months of practicing into about six weeks.
Kee said Jordan’s biggest initial contribution will come in the batter’s box, then stem out to the field.
Jordan knows she has a lot of work to do before she can make a run at the starting lineup, but said she is fine with that, and that her only concern is winning.
As of now, Jordan is just happy to live out her dream of playing softball with some of the elite teams and players in the country.
While the Pirates are not ranked yet, they did receive a few votes in the preseason top 25 poll, and will begin their season Feb. 7 at home against Virginia.