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Jordan Dail Reflects On Oregon's 2020 Season, Looks Ahead

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(Photo by Samuel Marshall via Oregon Athletics)

Despite the trials of the program's recent past, the Oregon Ducks successfully put together a strong 2020 season with a sturdy pitching staff and a potent offense.

Before COVID-19 ended the 2020 season prematurely, Jordan Dail was a big part of Oregon's success this past spring. The Ducks finished the abbreviated campaign with a 22-2 record and appeared to be much improved from the 2019 season.

Dail spoke with Softball America about what it’s been like for her during her time in Eugene, how the Ducks look to fare in the future and plenty more.

See SA’s conversation with Dail below.

Softball America: What has the past year and a half been like for you since transferring to Oregon from Virginia Tech?

Jordan Dail: For me, at first, it was kind of a whirlwind. Driving across the country, trying to settle in, while also getting ready for the season. I didn’t really have a “fall” to get adjusted to. This team is pretty awesome, the girls, the coaches. I settled in pretty quickly. It’s been an awesome experience so far and such an honor to play under Coach Melissa Lombardi. I have really learned a lot, not just about myself, but also about softball and the bigger things in life. I’m super excited to continue at Oregon these next couple years.

SA: What was your team's mindset going into the 2020 season?

JD: It was definitely different than last season. With me being the only one in the bullpen last year, it got kind of lonely. This year, it was exciting for me because I have friends in the bullpen. As a pitcher, not many people truly know what you go through on a daily basis and how difficult it is to be out there in the circle on your own. To have three other pitchers that are just as competitive as I am and share my experiences with them and help each other was super exciting. There was a buzz around this whole team, especially the pitching staff. To have the help this season that I so desperately needed last season and come in this year and take off the way we did was very exciting. It gave us a confidence boost. Everything we went through last year was worth it.

SA: What did it mean for your team to go 22-2 in 2020?

JD: Every game we played, we knew we were going to win. Our confidence was so high and we knew that we could absolutely count on each other. The pitching staff knew that if we gave up a run, our hitters were going to come through for us. Our offense knew that if they were having trouble against a pitcher, our staff was going to shut the other offense down. We fed off of each other. This season was cut short, but I don’t think we were finished just yet. We were going to continue to climb.

SA: How has Melissa Lombardi impacted Oregon's program? 

JD: She is such a caring person. Not just on the softball field, but she genuinely cares about us as people. Which is something you might not find with coaches at other schools. It might be just strictly business. With Coach Lombardi, it’s a family atmosphere. She cares about how we are doing in school and how our families are doing as well. She genuinely wants to know about how our days are going. If we had a bad day or didn’t do well on a test, she wants us to tell her that since some of those things may affect how we practice. So for her to be so interested and invested in us as people is pretty awesome. It allows us to just be ourselves.

SA: What has the team's offensive production meant to the success of the program?

JD: It was something this season that gave our pitching staff more confidence. We knew that they were going to score runs for us. Our offense was jumping on teams in the first inning almost every game. It was ridiculous and important. It sets the tone of the game and allows us to maintain control for the rest of the game. There are no weak links in our lineup. It was very exciting and cool to watch.

SA: How did the team's camaraderie impact your success?

JD: I think it’s a huge part of success. Our team doesn’t argue with each other. We all really get along. Whenever you see us, whether it’s on campus or going to get dinner, we are all in packs and we are always together. I think that’s a huge part of our success and female athletics. Having that close team bond, we can always count on each other and rely on each other to be there on and off the field.

SA: How is the team looking to move forward after COVID-19 and what’s the mindset after all the unforeseen circumstances this year has brought?

JD: We feel like we have unfinished business. Our confidence in each other and in ourselves is huge. To have our seniors coming back and a brand new freshman class next season, we do have unfinished business. We are not done. Every single one of our players is working hard each day to maintain our strength, get stronger, get faster, get better.

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