NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Softball season is over for 2017, but the Lipscomb coaching staff isn’t slacking off.
Coach Kristin Ryman announced the additions of pitcher Jordan Fortel from Greeneville, Tennessee and first baseman-catcher Jenna Endris from Floyds Knobs, Indiana.
Fortel has two years of eligibility remaining. She spent her freshman season at Tennessee-Chattanooga and transferred to Walters State Community College for her sophomore season.
At Walters State Fortel, 5-foot-9, won three awards from the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA). She was named Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year and was also a member of the All-TCCAA First Team as a pitcher.
Fortel finished the season with a 17-3 record and 1.30 earned run average. She recorded six shutouts.
According to the Walters State website, in 129.2 innings Fortel allowed 100 hits and 36 runs (24 earned). She struck out 140 and issued on eight walks. Her opposing batting average was .204.
“She has an attack mentality,” Ryman said. “I am excited to get her here and get her into the mix and working with Megan Rhodes Smith, our pitching coach. She has good speed. She is a pitcher who relies a lot on hitting her spots. She has good movement.
“I don’t anticipate her having a ton of walks. She just goes after you. She is going to rely on her defense. She is going to get some strikeouts. Her demeanor reminds me of Mandy Jordan.”
Fortel, a left-handed hitter, also led Walters State with a .543 batting average. She also was tops in runs scored (65), doubles (12) and stolen bases with 13. She was second on the team with 15 home runs among her 70 hits. She also was No. 2 driving in 57 runs.
“She was second in the nation in batting average at one time,” Ryman said. “On the pitching side she has been 12th in the nation. She is truly a dual threat.”
A highlight of her pitching was combining for a perfect game in the TCCAA/NJCAA Region VII Softball Tournament in an 8-0 win over Motlow State. Fortel retired 15 batters in five innings and Leslie Odom came in to close out by setting down Motlow State in order in the sixth.
In high school Fortel was a TSSAA All-State selection from 2013-2015. She was also the Knoxville News-Sentinel Player of the Year in 2015 and the Johnson City Press Player of the Year in 2015 and 2014. Her father, Bob, served as her high school coach.
Endris was captain of the Floyd Central team, one of the top softball teams in the state of Indiana. She was one of four players on her team to sign to play on the NCAA Division I level.
As a junior she batted .452.
“Jenna is a left-handed hitter who throws right-handed,” Ryman said. “As a lefty hitter there is definitely power potential there.”
Ryman describes Endris as an aggressive first baseman who is solid defensively.
“Jenna is primarily a first baseman,” Ryman said. “I am big on versatility and we have talked to her about learning to catch and play in the outfield to make her more valuable. I don’t want anybody to be one-dimensional defensively. She was open to working at the other positions.
“Her travel coach has created a scenario where she can catch every other game this summer. She will have more experience back there when she comes here than I could have ever expected.”
Endris immediately fell in love with the campus and the softball program.
“She is going to be a great fit for us.” Ryman said. “She is very smart. She has gelled with the players already.
“I am excited with what Jenna and Jordan are bringing to the table. They are both great students. They both have great families. They are the full package of what we want in our players.”