Jordan Jennings is a natural shortstop.
The MaST Charter sophomore has played softball since graduating from T-ball, and she got experience playing all over the field, but the position she’s most comfortable with is shortstop. However, the Panthers needed some depth in the circle, so Jennings, who did some pitching when she was younger, happily took the ball. And while she still considers herself a shortstop, she’s now a pitcher, too.
“I used to pitch when I was younger and they needed another pitcher so I kind of said I would,” said Jennings, who lives in Mayfair and has played the game since she was 4 years old. “It’s a different perspective than short, I like pitching as compared to shortstop, I love both but I like pitching.
“Softball was always my favorite. I dabbled into some sports like soccer, but softball, that was my best sport and I enjoyed it the most, so I kept playing it. I really like playing shortstop, but I’m loving pitching. It’s going really well.”
Especially for Jennings.
She’s having quite the season for the Panthers, hitting .600 with a .660 on-base percentage. She’s also been good at pitching, striking out 38 batters in 28 innings of work. Overall, the Panthers are 7-6 on the season.
The season has gotten better as it’s gone on, and Jennings is enjoying her time with her Panther teammates.
“I think we’re doing pretty well so far, I love my team and we’re doing pretty good so far,” Jennings said. “It’s going well, there are some teams in our league that are pretty good, so we’re playing good teams and we’re getting better. We’re working hard and having fun.”
Jennings is having another great season after starting as a freshman. Last year, she hit better than .500, but it took her some time to get comfortable. But just having the experience of last year has made a world of difference.
“I would say when I got here and I first started playing high school softball, it was nerve wracking,” Jennings said. “I got comfortable pretty quickly, I think. It helped playing more games and getting to know my coaches and my teammates better. I got comfortable last year and that helped a lot this year.”
It’s helped her become a better player, too.
Last year, she was around some great senior leaders who taught her how to be the leader the Panthers need her to be. She also credits this year’s seniors for helping her. But now that she’s an experienced Panther, she’s starting to share her words of wisdom with her teammates and the more she does it, the more natural it’s becoming for her.
And she knows the Panthers are going to need a good leader this year and beyond.
“I would say I’m becoming a good leader, mostly because I like picking up people when they’re down,” Jenning said. “At shortstop, I call the plays when each batter comes up. I try to make sure the team knows I respect them and they can call me or talk to me anytime if they ever need anything. I’m there for them.
“I kind of grew into this role. I really look up to the seniors on the team, but most of the team is sophomores so I’m with them a lot and the freshmen are great. I always try to make sure they’re comfortable because I know it can be hard.”
While softball is Jennings’ calling card, she actually might be better in the classroom.
Not only does she excel in her studies at MaST, she is taking classes at Community College of Philadelphia.
“Starting this year, I’m taking college courses at the community college and by the time I graduate high school, I’ll have an associate’s degree in business,” said Jennings, who has received all A’s in her college courses thus far. “It’s pretty interesting, I’ve liked most of my classes that I’ve taken through my two semesters. I go to the one in the Northeast.
“At first it was (really challenging), but I feel better being there. It’s tough balancing the college courses with high school courses and softball. I get a lot of homework. For college, it’s mostly we learn in class and then do things in class. It’s a lot of reading. But I’m learning a lot and I like it. It’s a great opportunity, and a great way to get ahead.”
While softball and school take up much of her time, she does find time for fun. When she’s not looking at potential colleges, she enjoys having out with friends, spending time with family and playing with her dog Jersey, a German shepherd.
But softball is her priority and she intends to do whatever she can to help the Panthers enjoy a successful season.
“I just love the atmosphere around the team,” said Jennings, who said she was thankful for her parents for helping her and paying for her softball travel team. “I like my team a lot and I look up to a lot of them. I like having fun playing with them. For school, it’s a fun experience that I can take to college.
“I’m very passionate and determined in all things I do. School and softball, and I can be hard on myself, but it’s for the benefit of others. I really want to help us win.”