Staff Photo: John Bohn Jordan Deep is a sophomore softball player with Buford High School. Deep missed the first six weeks of the season with a hamstring injury but has been playing well recently. Deep posses for a portrait near a photograph of Buford's state champion softball team of 2011, of which she was a team member.
Jordan Deep missed the first 11 games of the season, but you couldn't tell by her first at-bat of the year.
The Buford sophomore hit a double to the fence in her return. She hasn't skipped a beat since then.
Deep has given Buford's lineup some much-needed power as it returns to Columbus this weekend for its sixth-straight state championship.
"I did decent that first game," Deep said. "I just remember that first at-bat 'Alight, maybe I'm not as rusty as I thought I would be.'"
Over the last 20 games, Deep has hit .456 with six home runs and 27 RBIs.
"She gives us the power. We don't have any big power other than her," Buford coach Tony Wolfe said. "We have a line-up full of speed, but she gives us that power that rounds us out a little bit and gives us that one-swing punchers chance."
Deep was playing first base for her travel softball team in the summer at the Premier Girls Fastpitch national championship. She stretched out to catch a ball and injured her hamstring less a month before Buford was to begin its title defense.
"I didn't feel like I was letting them down, but I was in a way," Deep said. "Just the fact that I couldn't be there and having my bat in the lineup."
Deep was at every game in the dugout, cheering on her teammates. But every game it was tougher and tougher for her to watch and not play.
"It killed me. I would have done anything to be on the field and help my team out," Deep said. "I cheered, of course, because that's all I could do. But it hurt not being able to get on the dirt."
The sophomore finally got her chance the first week of September. She was cleared by the doctors to hit and she did what she does best, delivering a double to the wall.
Over the next few weeks she slowly worked her way back into playing second base.
"I do what I can. As a leader, I feel like I should set the tone for everybody and just lead by example," Deep said.
Deep hit .383 with seven home runs and 37 RBIs last year as a freshman, but was overshadowed by seniors Kallie Case and Lexi Overstreet, who shared Daily Post Player of the Year honors.
"This year she's the main power source," Wolfe said. It's really been to watch her step up and meet that expectation."
Her power was on display in the elimination game of the second round of the Class AAA playoffs last week. Deep hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning to propel the Wolves to a 9-1 win over Franklin County. She finished 3-for-3 with five RBIs and two runs scored.
"Obviously, she's a great player. To watch her play at the level she's playing at, it's really fun and exciting to see," Wolfe said. "It's really exciting to see her come through like in Game 3 against Franklin County."
Wolfe will be counting on Deep's bat again this week in Columbus where the Wolves will play Jackson County on Thursday.
"As long as we keep winning games, I could care less about my numbers," Deep said. "I just hope to continue what I've been doing because it's been pretty good."