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April 3, 2014

H.S. SOFTBALL SEASON PREVIEW: Jordan takes over Red Devils

Ex-NA star brings great resume to Jeff

JEFFERSONVILLE — Chelsea Jordan knows what it takes to be successful in the game of softball.

During her standout career at New Albany High School, Jordan made the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association All-State team in 2008 and 2009.

After she graduated from New Albany in 2009, Jordan took her talents to the University of Louisville. During her tenure with the U of L softball program, the Cardinals advanced to the NCAA tournament and got ranked in the top-25 poll each year from 2010-12.

In 2014, Jordan hopes that some of her past achievements will rub off on the Jeffersonville High School softball program.

Jordan is the Red Devils’ new coach, replacing former Jeff boss Jodi Bradley. Jordan wants to instill two qualities in the Devils that she inherited in her time as a Bulldog and a Cardinal.

“Some of the biggest things are passion and a desire about the game,” Jordan said. “I brought it up to our players in our games [on Monday at North Oldham (Ky.)]. I told them that you’ve got to fight.”

Along with implementing a competitive nature at Jeff, Jordan also has changed the way the Red Devils are practicing.

“I’ve put in the practice structure like the one at U of L. There is a lot of one-on-one work and a lot of teamwork,” Jordan said. “We’re trying to employ more of a fundamental foundation. We want to build a program that’s going to be tough for years to come.”

Jordan says the main strength of her new squad is its experience. Despite having only two seniors, the Red Devils have 10 returning letterwinners from last year’s 14-9 team.

The pair of seniors are shortstop Emma Coons and third baseman Courtney Shepherd. Coons has signed a national letter of intent to play softball next season at Northern Kentucky University.

Seven of the 10 returning players are juniors, led by pitcher Emily Gray. The rest of the juniors are Tori Flaten, Macy Neese, Mary Pat Geary, Dayt’n Minton, Courtney Fifer and Sydney Fifer.

“We do have a lot of returnees,” Jordan said. “They communicate with each other well. I’ve got a lot of kids who are dedicated to be better. They want to take it to the next level.”

One area of concern for Jordan is she wants to see her new players execute the fundamentals on a consistent basis.

“We lack some of the fundamental skills. We have the tools, but we have some things to work through right now,” Jordan said.

Jordan thinks Jennings County and Floyd Central are the top contenders to win this year’s Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament. She says the toughest teams on her nonconference schedule are Louisville Holy Cross, Evansville Harrison and Evansville North.

By late May, Jordan expects the Red Devils to be playing at a high level.

“By the end of the season, I expect our team to be fighting for a sectional championship. I expect them to be fighting in every inning,” Jordan said.

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