Carrying a heavy workload isn’t anything new for Jordan Dail.
During the Virginia Class 3A state championship game in June 2017, the unflappable lefty threw 262 pitches over 18 scoreless innings to will Brookville High to a 1-0 win in a title game for the ages.
“I’ll throw until my arm falls off,” Dail noted when asked about her stamina Thursday night. “I don’t see that happening any time soon.”
The Oregon softball program, which lost three quality pitchers from last year’s Pac-12 championship team, continues to rely almost exclusively on the Virginia Tech transfer in the circle.
Dail finished with 11 strikeouts and allowed three hits during the Ducks’ 1-0 victory over California on Thursday at Jane Sanders Stadium.
The sophomore — who has logged 174 2/3 innings, easily the most of any pitcher in the conference — threw 121 pitches to beat the last-place Bears (23-21, 2-13).
“She gave us a chance to win,” first-year coach Melyssa Lombardi said after notching her first home win at Oregon. “She needs to be more efficient, and she’d tell you the same thing, but she pitched well enough to get us the win.”
Cal leadoff batters reached second base in five innings, but Dail was able to wriggle out of trouble all evening.
“It probably wasn’t my best game, but my ball was moving enough that it was working,” Dail said. “Even some of my strikeouts were missed pitches. It’s part of the game.
“Some days you’ve just got to find a way to make it work with your C game, and luckily I got that done tonight.”
Dail (15-10, 3.47 ERA) only allowed one hit until giving up back-to-back singles to open the seventh.
Third baseman Rachel Cid gloved Lindsay Rood’s bunt attempt and a line drive by Jordan Fines. Then Dail struck out Mikayla Coelho to finish off the Bears.
“She’s going to give me a heart attack one day,” Lombardi said. “To see her get out of it, I love. But I just want to see her stay efficient with what she’s doing.”
Jasmine Sievers smashed a two-out RBI double off Cal starter Kamalani Dung (11-8, 2.09 ERA) to drive in the game’s only run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The freshman shortstop batted .500 with three doubles and three RBIs during last weekend’s series at No. 1 UCLA.
“(Dung) got me out the first two times, but I had some good at-bats off of her,” Sievers said. “I was locked in and I knew she wasn’t going to beat me the third time. I knew she was going to throw me a change-up again.
“I was just locked in and thinking, ‘You’re not going to beat me, I’m better than you.’”
In the second, Haley Cruse lined out to Dung with the bases loaded to end the Ducks’ best threat. The third inning also came to a close with Dung gloving a shot up the middle off the bat of April Utecht.
Dung allowed four hits and the lone earned run over five innings before giving way to reliever Zoe Conley.
After Oregon grabbed the lead, Dail struck out two more batters with a runner in scoring position to keep the Bears off the scoreboard in the sixth.
Cal left nine runners on base and was 0-for-13 against Dail with runners in scoring position.
“Her ball was moving a lot today and you could tell Cal’s batters were thrown off guard and it was firing me up at shortstop,” Sievers said. “I think I was like 10 feet in the air when she kept striking out people. I love it. She fires me up all the time.”
The Ducks (18-21, 3-10) will continue the eight-game home stand Friday against Cal. Dail will be ready for the first pitch at 7 p.m. at the Jane.
“I feel like everyone is worried about my innings right now except for me,” Dail said. “I feel fine. I feel better than ever right now.”