05/05/08 — Golden Falcons' Jordan headed to Methodist

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Golden Falcons' Jordan headed to Methodist

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 5, 2008 1:48 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Emily Jordan likes winning.

Who can blame her?

She's been an integral part in runs to three straight Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference regular-season titles. She's participated on four playoff teams and added her name to numerous categories in the Charles B. Aycock record book.

It's only fitting that Jordan will continue her career at another winning program.

The senior left-hander signed with Division III power Methodist University, ranked No. 25 in the latest NCFA poll. The Monarchs have appeared in each of the last two NCAA Tournaments.

"Their program is strong," said Jordan.

The 17-year-old daughter of Phillip and Melissa Jordan of Pikeville, Emily garnered most of her attention while playing showcase ball. Monarchs pitching coach Ray Harrington watched her play and felt Jordan would be a valuable asset to the program.

He convinced head coach Ron Simpson, winner of 332 games in 10-plus seasons at Methodist, to give Jordan a chance. After all, left-handed hurlers are rare on the college scene, especially in the USA South Conference. Jordan possesses an arsenal of pitches -- fastball, riseball, curveball, drop, changeup, curve-drop and screwball.

In the college game, it's 43 feet from the pitcher's circle to the plate. In high school, it's 40 feet. The additional 36 inches will allow Jordan to have more movement on her pitches.

"Sometimes they don't all work, but if you can get three or four working, then you can work with what you've got," laughed Jordan. "I've got to bring something different than the other four pitchers who are there, carry my weight and try to be a leader as a freshman.

"I'm going to have to work hard whereever I go, but I think it's going to be a benefit because I am left-handed."

Jordan drew looks from fellow USA South members Peace and N.C. Wesleyan; and Conference Carolinas programs Mount Olive College and Barton. A weekend trip, practice with the softball team and Methodist's education program convinced Jordan to head south to Fayetteville. She plans to pursue a degree in art and teach, plus coach, if the opportunity arises.

The biggest challenge, says Jordan, is adjusting to the college game and new teammates. She's played with her high school teammates since she was eight years old.

A three-year varsity starter, Jordan is currently 13-2 this season and has posted 100-plus strikeouts in nearly 100 innings pitched. Opposing teams are batting just .162 against her.

Jordan recently set school records for single-game strikeouts (20) and single-game innings pitched (15) when the Golden Falcons edged Beddingfield 5-4 almost a month ago. Her ERA is a microscopic 0.56 -- one of the three lowest single-season marks in program history.

"She's a great competitor," said first-year Aycock head coach Brad Matthews. "When I go in the box and get a brand new ball, I feel good about winning when I give it to her. I love that security."