It did not take long for Jordan Walters to make her mark on the Wetumpka Softball Tournament over the weekend. Tallassee showed itself as a force in the first game of pool play and Walters was in the middle of it.
In her second plate appearance, Walters drove a pitch over the wall in center field for a grand slam, extending Tallassee’s lead against Horseshoe Bend. Walters is the Elmore County Player of the Week.
“I hadn’t been hitting very good so to hit that felt good,” Walters said. “It boost my confidence a lot. Even just getting a base hit helps you.”
Walters continued her surge at the plate but may have been even more dominant in the circle to lead the Tigers to the tournament title. With the championship tied, Tallassee coach Pat Love turned to Walters for the final four outs to help secure a 3-2 win over defending Class 5A champion Hayden.
“She’s got command up there,” Love said. “She hit her spots wherever we called. She was phenomenal this weekend.”
In four appearances, Walters allowed just one earned run and struck out 15 batters in 12 1/3 innings. Opponents hit just .235 and finished with 28 swings-and-misses in 51 plate appearances.
“I felt better than I have in a long time this weekend,” Walters said. “I think it was just knowing we were against top level competition and we had to focus in and try our best. I really wanted Sinclair (Cole) to finish it out but I knew I could go in and finish it if the ball does get put in my hand.”
Walters lowered her season ERA to 1.47 and saw her strikeout-to-walk ratio jump from 1.8 to 3.3.
After seeing a record-setting offense fall short of the state tournament last season, the Tigers hope their pitching can help them take the next step. Love said Walters has been a capable ace for a long time but now she has proven herself as one of the best pitchers in the state.
“If she pitches the way she did Saturday, we can beat anybody,” Love said. “She has really worked on a couple of different pitches and getting her velocity up. She’s determined right now and that’s really helped us.”
Walters did not drain all her energy in the circle as she finished with a team-high eight RBIs and her grand slam in the opener was Tallassee’s lone home run. She finished with five hits in 14 at-bats.
In the championship, Walters did not record a hit but she grabbed two RBIs when Chloe Davidson and Lexi Love scored on a fielder’s choice. The play also marked Walters’ ninth straight game to reach base at least once.
“It makes it to where you can change a lot of things with the lineup,” Love said. “It helps us because it frees up other spots. She works really hard at all aspects of her game.”