Jordan Chism's mind seems a lot less cluttered at the plate this season.
For her first three years at Piedmont, Chism was a pitcher.
After starting her at pitcher again to start this season, Piedmont coach Rick Scott moved Chism to third base.
“It wasn't that I didn't want to pitch,” Chism said. “It was what was best for the team. It does release a bit of stress off of me, though, and our pitchers have done a great job.”
The Wildcats (32-7) open the Class 4A state softball tournament against Newcastle at p.m. Thursday at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
Chism is a big reason for Piedmont's berth, hitting .525 with eight home runs and 60 RBIs.
“This year, she's been the catalyst that's made us go,” Scott said. “I expected her to be really good this season but I didn't expect it to this level.”
Chism moved to the third spot in the order as well.
“I really focused on my hitting going into this year, especially the outside pitch and keeping my hands inside the ball,” she said.
Chism has also made a point of jumping on pitches early in the count, including one from Little Axe's Andee Frazier early in the season.
After Frazier, who pitched a shutout last week in the Class 3A championship game, struck Chism out on her first at-bat, Chism blasted a two-run home run on the first pitch her second time up to help Piedmont to a win.
“Hitting off Andee is quite a feat,” Scott said. “We realized we could be a pretty decent team after that.”
In addition to the pressure being relieved on her by moving to third, she also made her college decision not long before the season, committing to Oklahoma Christian.
“It was a big weight lifted off my shoulders,” Chism said. “I've been going to exposure tournaments since I was 12 and this was a perfect fit. It was close to home and, even though it's not a D-I, I'd rather go there where it's the right academic fit than a D-I school that didn't have the major I wanted.”
Chism plans to major in physical therapy.