Jordan signs with Barton College
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 11, 2012 1:49 PM
A positive workout session and some encouragement from her older sister instantly hooked Rachel Jordan on the Barton College softball program.
So when Bulldog head coach Sheryl Neff came calling with a national letter-of-intent in her hand, Jordan never hesitated. The Charles B. Aycock senior third baseman eagerly grabbed a pen and signed with the Division II Conference Carolinas school.
Jordan thought about three additional in-state schools -- Mount Olive College, North Carolina Wesleyan and UNC Pembroke. Her sister's influence, and the opportunity to immediately step in and play was too good of an opportunity to miss.
"My sister (Emily) played there. I've seen the program since she has been there and I've been impressed with it," said Rachel. "When they showed interest, I was very excited. I worked out with them once. It seemed natural and I was comfortable there."
Barton finished 17-24 overall this spring and ended up fourth in the league's East Division. The Bulldogs did not qualify for the season-ending, eight-team conference tournament.
Jordan confidently feels she's a good fit for their lineup and is willing to play anywhere Neff puts her in the infield. Barton graduated five seniors -- all infielders.
"I think she'll fit right in with Barton," Aycock head coach Brad Matthews said. "At third base, she takes away other teams' bunts because she has such a strong arm and reads the ball well off the bat. When it's hit that way, I know she's a vacuum cleaner over there."
Jordan has posted a .941 fielding average with just four bobbles in 68 chances at the hot corner this spring. The four-year varsity starter is one of five players hitting .400 or better and she has driven in 18 runs on 25 hits.
Aycock won the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference regular-season and tournament titles in the same season for the first time with Jordan and her fellow seniors in the lineup. The Golden Falcons (23-2 overall) put their 20-game win streak on the line today against West Carteret in the opening round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs.
Matthews described Jordan as an all-around player.
Jordan said she can never stop working on her game.
"You can always get better at everything," said Jordan, who plans to pursue a degree in elementary education and teach kindergarten through second grade.
"I know the pitching is going to be a step up and I have to work (hard) to get myself equal to that. I'm going to work on my overall game ... hitting, fielding and conditioning."
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