Brad Theurer sat behind the grandstands trying to find the words that might help his daughter overcome a devastating 16-0 loss in the first game of the 3A state championships.
"I was just trying to figure out what I could say, how I could do damage control, how I could console her, and really give her the desire to go back and pitch the next game," said Theurer.
As it turned out, he didn't need to say anything.
Theurer's performance in the first game of the 3A championship round was off and the Spanish Fork Dons took full advantage. They clobbered the Bears 16-0 in three innings and it took just over an hour to play the game.
For the first time in her pitching career, Theurer was pulled from the game. She was so disappointed she cried when head coach Calvin Bingham moved her to third. He said he did it to rest her arm for the next game.
"It was bad," said Theurer.
But as painful and as humiliating as that hour was, Jordan then showed her dad, her coaches, her teammates and opponents something one doesn't often see in high school sports.
"She came over and we talked and she just shrugged it off," he said. One of the coaches suggested Brad catch for his daughter during the 20-minute break the team had before the second game with Spanish Fork.
"She threw me five or six pitches, and she had regained her composure," he said. "She had movement, she had zip on the ball. It was interesting because between the games, the girls went out into the outfield alone, no parents, no coaches, and they said a little prayer. They didn't ask to win, but they did ask to regain their composure and to go out and play our game and give ourselves the opportunity."
When Jordan retired the first Spanish Fork batters 1-2-3, her father knew she was back to the form that helped the Bears beat all of the top 5A teams in non-region play.
"I thought, 'We're back in this,' " he said laughing.
Theurer went on to throw so well, she shut the prolific Dons' offense down. And then she hit a home run that secured the school's fifth straight softball title.
"She gets it done with her arm, but she can also do it with her bat," said Spanish Fork head coach Don Andrews. "We made one mistake and she put it over the fence."
Like most people who witnessed the 3A state championship games, Andrews was impressed most with Theurer's mental edge.
"I can't say enough about the way she turned it around," Andrews said. "That really impressed me. She came back breathing fire. She beat a darn good team; she shut us down."
Theurer isn't a sore loser, but she doesn't defeat well.
"She deals with it, but she doesn't have to like it," said her dad. "It stings and it sits with her a while."
Both her coach and her father see her athleticism as her best attribute as a player. She can throw accurate, high velocity pitches, but she can also hit for power, bunt and take the bases like a pinch runner.
The state title was a proud moment for Theurer, and it was made more special because of the piece of paper she carried in her back pocket.
"Her biggest fan is her older brother," said Brad. "He's on a mission and he felt terrible that he was going to miss the game. He sent her a letter and said, 'I'm your biggest fan. Fold this letter up and put it in your pocket so you'll have a little piece of me there at the game.' "
She told no one of the letter until after the title belonged to the Bears.
"All of my kids are competitive, and they give each other a hard time," said Brad of his two boys and Jordan. "But they're also each other's biggest fans."
Jordan is in the National Honor Society and she also races chariots with her family.1 comment on this story
"She is a special player," said Bingham. He said her athleticism, competitive nature and work ethic have transformed her into a force in high school softball. This season she hit .442, earned 48 RBIs — which was a team high — and had a slugging percentage of .726 with an ERA 2.09. She had 151 strikeouts in 157 innings and 11 shutouts. She was named Utah's Gatorade Softball Player of the Year last week, as well.
While she's always been talented, her father said he's watched her evolve as a player and a person.
"She understands the game now, where she needs to throw and what spots to hit," Brad Theurer said. "She won't let those failures, mistakes or walks get to her. She's mentally tough in that aspect now."