It was a good year for sophomores in the Central Coast Section, but one stood out above all the rest - pitcher Jordan Schuring of Saint Francis. As the top pitcher and one of the top hitters on a team that won the West Catholic Athletic League title and got all the way to the Open Division championship game - the Lancers' first appearance in a CCS title game in 20 years - Schuring earns the honors as Prep2Prep CCS Sophomore of the Year.
Schuring, the WCAL Pitcher of the Year, figures to be a handful for the WCAL for the next two years as she continues to progress under first-year head coach and former championship-winning baseball coach Mike Oakland.
At 6-1 she has the height major colleges like, and although her velocity is not overpowering, being that tall makes her rise-ball harder to hit, plus she hits her spots and has good movement on her pitches.
“She had a great year but I expect her to get even better,” said Oakland. “I think the one thing about Jordan and her success, and you wouldn’t know it because she is such a sweet girl, but once she gets between the lines she is so competitive.
“Going into games like Mitty, (Presentation), Valley (Christian) and Half Moon Bay, she thrived in those situations. She wanted the ball. You could see it and tell it in her eyes.”
Although Schuring was on the short end of the 9-5 loss to Mitty in the CCS Open final, almost all of the runs were unearned, and she had driven in one of her team's runs. And that was after she was the winning pitcher twice in league against the Monarchs.
Despite the fact the Lancers were the WCAL titlists, the CCS points system didn’t favor them, so they went on the road as the No. 6 seed to No. 3 Half Moon Bay to open the playoffs. Schuring pitched a four-hitter with a walk and four strikeouts in a 3-2 victory.
In the semifinals against a Santa Teresa team fresh off an upset of No. 2 seed and at the time state-ranked San Benito, Schuring gave up six hits, but once again only one base on balls and four strikeouts, in a 4-3 victory in which only one of the runs was earned.
Schuring and Saint Francis had a bit of a rough start, but once the Lancers (23-8) got rolling they deservedly finished No. 2 behind Mitty in the final Prep2Prep CCS rankings, and a lot of it had to do with their ace pitcher.
In the circle Schuring was 14-6 with a 1.71 ERA, allowing only 32 earned runs, and 78 strikeouts and 39 walks in 130 2/3 innings pitched over 23 appearances. Against the toughest competition in the CCS opposing batters hit a paltry .221 facing her. Schuring also only made three errors in 48 chances as a fielder.
At the plate Schuring hit .359 with three home runs a triple, seven doubles and 22 RBIs.
With just about all her Lancers’ teammates returning look for Saint Francis to be in the thick of it again next season and Schuring in contention for Prep2Prep CCS Junior of the Year.
Others considered for this award include: San Benito's Dominique Monteon, Watsonville's Jessica Rodriguez and Valley Christian's Kacey Zobac.