LAKEPOINT, Ga. – With first pitch of the season just three short weeks away, the ASUN Conference announced its 2018 Softball Preseason honors on Wednesday. Junior Mandy Jordan landed a spot on the All-Conference team and was also named ASUN Co-Pitcher of the Year, while the Lady Bisons were picked to finish fourth in the league standings by the head coaches.
Jordan is the first Lady Bison to be named the league’s Preseason Pitcher of the Year since 2011 when Whitney Kiihnl earned the distinction.
“Mandy has positioned herself and our team to be very deserving of this,” Lipscomb head coach Kristin Ryman said. “I think it shows that she has a lot of respect around the league. At times last season she really dominated a lot of teams in our league.
“The biggest thing for her is finding the little ways to be better with her self-discipline. Her being able to make those improvements in herself and her game really matter for our team. That has been a primary focus this offseason for Mandy. I am really, really proud of her and she is very deserving of this.”
Jordan put together an impressive campaign in 2017 as Lipscomb’s top arm, earning her Second Team All-Conference recognition. She posted a 23-11 ledger in the circle with a 1.46 ERA, both totals were second best in the ASUN.
The Camden, Alabama native ranked 14th in the country and topped the conference with 261 strikeouts. She also led the league in complete games (29), games started (34), innings pitched (230.0) and strikeouts per game (7.94).
“I think it’s easy for players to get caught up in preseason awards to where they might coast during the season, but I don’t think that is Mandy at all,” Ryman said. “We preach to our team every year that the preseason rankings and all-conference don’t matter.”
Jordan was named Co-Pitcher of the Year alongside Kennesaw State’s sophomore Alley Cutting, who was named ASUN Freshman of the Year a season ago.
In the coaches poll, the Lady Bisons found themselves ranked fourth with 29 total points. Kennesaw State (46) led the pack with USC Upstate (43) and Florida Gulf Coast (31) just behind. The Owls also claimed four of the seven first-place votes.
“We are just doing what we do by prepping for the season the way we need to as a team and individually,” Ryman said. “We know we are a little bit of an underdog and I think this team performs well in that role. The biggest thing that matters is how we go out and compete and position ourselves well for the conference tournament in May.
“That comes down to a lot more than just Mandy, it’s going to have to be a team effort. We need some of our pitching to step up behind her. We need to hit the ball better. We also need to play well defensively. It’s going to come down to a lot more than pitching, but that plays a key role.”
Lipscomb opened spring practice on Monday in preparation for its season opener on February 9 at the Sand Dollar Classic against Penn State in Gulf Shores, Alabama.