BY DARREN REESE
SUN SPORTS EDITOR
GREENEVILLE - When Jordan Fortel was around 8-years-old, she went to a softball camp that featured former University of Tennessee pitching great Monica Abbott as the guest speaker.
That day was the turning point in Fortel's own playing career, according to her father and Greeneville High School coach, Bob Fortel.
"Ever since then, she really started to take it serious," Bob Fortel said of the rising GHS junior. "She plays other positions, but since then, she's loved pitching."
Fortel led Greeneville to a District 2-AA championship and a state sectional appearance as a sophomore this past spring. For her efforts, she was recently named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Class AA All-State Team.
"Her season was awesome," Bob Fortel said. "And the thing about it is, you really didn't see the real Jordan Fortel until the tournament came around."
"You saw glimpses of what she was capable of during the regular season, but in the conference tournament she really got that bulldog mentality again."
Fortel was a terror for opposing teams at both the plate and in the pitching circle in 2013.
She compiled an 18-7 record with a 1.07 earned run average. She allowed just 24 runs all season and struck out 211 batters while walking just 13 in 157 innings pitched.
She was equally dominant with a bat in her hand. She hit for a .616 average, going 53-of-86 at the plate. Thirty of her hits were for extra bases (8 home runs). She only struck out three times all season.
Fortel was walked 30 times on the year, with the majority of those coming intentionally.
"She makes good adjustments early at the plate," Bob Fortel explained. "Early in the year, I think she was frustrated because she was getting walked so many times."
"But toward the end of the season, I think her teammates really rallied around that. She started to get back where she needed to be mentally, and the rest of the team just followed her lead."
Fortel has spent the summer playing on a competitive traveling team out of Chattanooga, which has taken her to tournaments as far away as California. She was recently clocked on the radar gun at 63 miles per hour.
Bob Fortel said his daughter has already verbally committed to the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, and plans to stick with her decision even though bigger schools have come calling, including several in the Southeastern Conference.
"She kind of drew the line in the sand a while back," Bob Fortel said. "She said she was not going out of state, and she was not going to a big school."