Lady Lobo pitcher inks with Bossier Parish
By Rick Kretzschmar firstname.lastname@example.org
May 21, 2012 at 11 p.m.
April 27th was a rough day for Jordan Bates, but it also provided a moment of determination. On that day the Longview softball pitcher had to endure a playoff loss to Temple.
"I cried my eyes out in the dugout because it was my last high-school softball game, but I knew I had to keep this going," Bates said. "I was hoping I would make it to college softball."
On Monday her hopes were fulfilled.
Bates signed with Bossier Parish Community College on Longview High School's Turf Room. Bates said she chose BPCC over Northeast Texas Community College, Trinity Valley Community College and Stephen F. Austin.
While Bates' moment of conviction was less than a month ago, her hopes of playing for BPCC have been nurtured for years, reinforced in April when she went to Bossier City, La. for a workout.
"This is overwhelming. I have been dying to get a scholarship," Bates said. "I went to a camp at BPCC after my freshman year at Longview. I always liked the coaching staff and I thought it would be a good place to go."
Bates was part of a renaissance season for Longview in 2012 as she was the team's primary pitcher, even though she didn't pitch the two previous seasons. Bates was 11-13 and had 53 regular-season strikeouts, helping the Lady Lobos advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. She also batted .333 with eight RBIs in the regular season.
Bates joins a BPCC program whichwent 26-29 this past spring, 0-2 in the Region XIV tournament.
Bates said she has communicated with BPCC head coach Ashley Grisham often since attending the 2009 camp. Bates said that Grisham's similar personality to a past coach was one reason she decided to go to BPCC.
"I really like coach Grisham. She reminds me of coach (Jodie) King," said Bates, referring to her Longview coach during her freshman season, after which King resigned but remained a teacher at Longview. "Coach King kept talking with me and encouraged me through my sophomore, junior and senior years."
Bates said another reason she chose BPCC was she was encouraged by her parents – Kimberly Miller and Curtis Bates – to attend a smaller school for now. Bates said she may transfer to SFA after her time at BPCC.
Bates said she feels her ability to throw different pitches and speed are ready for the college level, but she has to improve on consistency and location. Longview head coach Barielle Sims said junior college is the best college path for Bates, especially since she will have playing time right away.
"I believe her competitive nature and the way she is always trying to get better will help her in college," Sims said. "She needs to work on her footwork, and get her confidence up to believe she will be successful."
Bates will receive a full scholarship at BPCC. She plans on majoring in physical therapy and hopes to work in pediatrics in the future.
Bates said she is happy the work she put in the past year got Longview back into the playoffs, and helped her continue her softball career in college.
"I gave it all I had and what we did all came together," Bates said. "This is all a really awesome feeling."