By Mike Gilpatrick–
Softball’s Jordan McNary enters her final year as one of the most experienced players on the roster. Over the left fielder’s career, she has a .316 batting average, 92 hits and 23 stolen bases in 138 games.
McNary solidified her reputation in 2016 as a threat on the base paths, stealing 12 bases for second most on the team. An All-ACC Second team selection, McNary tied the team lead with three triples and 30 runs.
Compiling a 31-15 record in the ACC, McNary said the conference holds some of the best competition she has faced. The senior said finishing second in the ACC last season gives U of L a mental edge in 2017.
“That was a big step for us. We were picked fourth, so finishing second, we all thought we could really win the ACC championship,” McNary said.
In the preseason coaches poll, the Cardinals are picked to finish second. To take the next step, McNary and the Cards have to get past Florida State, who have four straight regular season conference titles.
“We’re grittier this year.” McNary said, “We’re putting in more work. We’ve made it to NCAA Regionals and we haven’t won a game, so we want to take that next step to get to the NCAA regional championship. We want to go to the Super Regionals. We want to go to OKC, so we’re grittier and working harder than ever before.”
Making Super Regionals would top the list of best memories as a Cardinal but there are two memories that stand out.
“The best (memory) that sticks in my mind is winning the AAC championship my freshman year. We had a rough season and we weren’t sure if we were going to make it into the NCAA tournament … winning that guaranteed us a spot,” McNary said. “Another great moment is beating Florida State on our home field when we were told we didn’t have a shot.”
Photo courtesy / Louisville Athletics