Darton ace Katy Jordan winds up a pitch during Wednesday's 2012 home opener against Middle Georgia. Jordan not only pitched a perfect game in the opener of the doubleheader --- an 8-0 Lady Cavs win --- but then came in and closed out Game 2, which ended in a 1-0 Darton victory.
ALBANY — As Katy Jordan was walking off the Darton softball field Wednesday after pitching a perfect game against Middle Georgia College, somebody tossed her the game ball.
Most cherish those game balls from pitching performances as dominant as Jordan’s was. They’re treated as trophies, encased for decades.
Jordan had other ideas.
“I’ll just use it in practice (Thursday),” Jordan said.
That’s how routine perfect games are for Darton’s ace, who threw five perfect innings during the Lady Cavs’ home opener against Middle Georgia in the first game of a doubleheader, which Darton won, 8-0, in five innings. The sophomore right-hander then pitched the final 2 2/3 innings in relief in the second game to lead the Lady Cavs to a 1-0 win.
Jordan, who said she had lost count of how many perfect games she has thrown in her career at Darton, improved to 8-1 on the mound this season, while the No. 18 nationally ranked Lady Cavs are now 12-1 overall with their sixth win in a row since a 3-2 loss to Enterprise (Ala.) on Saturday.
Jordan also didn’t allow a runner in the second game and racked up 10 strikeouts in the two games. Freshman Jenny Willis started the second game and allowed two hits in just over four innings of work.
“(Jordan) was moving the ball around a little bit and mixing her speeds. Her movement was really good (Wednesday),” Darton coach David Dews said. “I thought both pitchers threw really well (Wednesday) and gave us a chance.”
With the combination of Jordan, Willis, and Leesburg native and former Terrell Academy star Amanda Cook, Middle Georgia coach Ken Phillips said Darton’s pitching staff is second to none in Region XVII this season.
“As soon as I found out they signed that little left-hander (Willis) in the summer, I told them they would have the best pitching in the conference, because Katy was already the best pitcher in the conference,” said Phillips, whose Lady Warriors are 5-7 overall. “That gives (Dews) two really good pitchers, and I think he’s probably got the best pitching staff in the conference.”
Darton’s strength on the mound was on full display Wednesday when the Middle Georgia hitters had trouble even getting the ball out of the infield. The Lady Warriors’ only two hits in the second game were infield singles by Mallory Davis.
And when Middle Georgia did put the bat on the ball, the Darton defense, which didn’t commit a single error in the doubleheader, was there to scoop it up.
The Lady Cavs’ bats were quiet for most of the afternoon but came alive in the fourth and fifth innings of the opener. Darton broke a 0-0 tie in the fourth inning with five runs, then ended the game in five innings with a three-run fifth inning.
Darton second baseman Amanda Jaskolski, who had a double in each game, said her team’s pitching gave her confidence at the plate.
“It gives us more confidence at the plate to know we can swing away,” Jaskolksi said. “Both pitchers did really well (Wednesday). Jenny got us a lot of ground balls and got us going. Our hitting will come.”
In the second game, the lone run came in the fifth inning when pinch runner Ashlea Little stole second and was hit in by a Kelsea Ogletree double. The Lady Cavs had just four hits in the second game. They were led at the plate in the opener by Chelsea Showers (3-for-4) and Jessica Vason (2-for-3).
Darton will next play Tuesday in a doubleheader at ABAC.
VSU SOFTBALL ROUTS ASU: The Albany State softball team fell to 2-6 on Wednesday after getting swept in a doubleheader against Valdosta State.
VSU won Games 1 and 2 in a pair of routs — 10-0 and 21-0, respectively — as the Lady Rams totaled just eight hits between the two games, with no ASU player notching more than one. Shaywona Marks and Chelsea Hicks shouldered the loss on the mound for ASU.
VSU’s Sam Posey, a former Lee County star, had a monster day for the Lady Blazers, going 5-for-8 in the two games with three runs scored and five RBI.