Former Knight earns college softball honor

Former Irondale High School fastpitch softball standout Jordan Spiering is in her second season at the University of St. Scholastica and recently picked up an athlete-of-the-week honor for the Saints.

Spiering was named the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) pitcher of the week on March 20 for her efforts on a trip to Clermont, Fla. Spiering, who hails from Mounds View, went 3-1 while surrendering only seven earned runs in 31 innings of work. She struck out 23 in that stretch while walking more than one hitter only twice in five appearances.

A sophomore for St. Scholastica, Spiering started all 14 of the Saints' games through March 28. She pitched in seven of those games and started in the circle five times.

In those seven pitching appearances, Spiering is 4-2 with an earned-run average of 2.39 in 44 innings pitched. She has struck out 28 batters and walked 16.

At the plate, Spiering has driven in seven runs and is tied for fourth on the team in that statistic. Of her four hits, one is a home run. She has also drawn a team-high eight walks and is a perfect 6-for-6 in stolen base attempts.

Spiering hit her home run, a three-run shot, on Feb. 26 against Finlandia. The round-tripper put the Saints in front to stay as they picked up their first victory of the season.

Spiering's best pitching performance came on March 13 against Westfield State as she pitched six scoreless innings in relief while striking out a season-high nine batters and giving up just three hits. A day earlier against Thiel, Spiering gave up one run in seven innings and struck out five.

When she is not in the pitching circle, Spiering is St. Scholastica's starting shortstop. She has started at short nine times this season.

St. Scholastica, located in Duluth, is 8-6 and resumes its schedule on April 1 with its first home game of the season. The Saints host Northland College in their UMAC opener. Their previous games took place in two locations: Marquette, Mich., as a part of an indoor tournament hosted by Finlandia University and Clermont as part of the spring trip.

The Saints are the defending UMAC regular-season and tournament champions. They won the regular season title in 2011 with a 19-2 UMAC record and then captured the conference tournament championship with a 3-0 record in the four-team, double-elimination event.

The tournament crown earned the Saints a spot in the Division III NCAA tournament and a trip to Eau Claire, Wisc., for a regional. St. Scholastica went 1-2 at the regional with a win over North Central College and losses to Luther College and Ripon College.

St. Scholastica is one of eight teams in the UMAC along with Northland, Presentation, Northwestern, Bethany Lutheran, Martin Luther, Crown and Minnesota-Morris.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com