Jordyn Hobson was on a 12U team playing in a tournament when someone quickly noticed her talent.
“I was playing in a tournament in Canton and one of the college coaches watching me from Trine talked to my Dad,” Hobson said.
From that young age, Hobson started understanding that maybe she was pretty good at this softball thing.
Whether it’s at the plate or on the mound, the sophomore played a huge role in the Linden Eagles’ league championship and district title season. She started every Metro League game on the mound and started every game as the team’s lead-off hitter. Certainly no player in the tri-county area had as much of an impact on her team’s final record than Hobson, helping her earn the 2019 Tri-County Softball Player of the Year honors. She edged out Fenton’s Division I First-Team All-State shortstop and University of Iowa-bound Erin Carter for the honor, mainly because of her tremendous impact on Linden’s squad at both the mound and in the batter’s box.
On the mound, she made her biggest impact by starting all 16 Metro League contests. The Eagles finished 14-2, earning a co-title with Owosso, Linden’s first league championship since 1998. In those league games, she posted a 3.02 earned run average while allowing just 19 walks versus her 65 strike outs. She finished the season with a 21-5 record overall, recording a 3.29 earned run average. She walked just 32 batters while striking out 136 in 163 2/3 innings. At the start of the season, it wasn’t for sure Hobson would start every game, but it ended up working out that way.
“Last year she split time because she was a freshman,” Linden varsity softball coach Gordon Jamison said. “Early in the year the plan was to split time and build her to the point where she could possibly pitch both games. And having her pitch both games would allow us to keep other players in other positions and make us stronger defensively.
“After every first game I’d ask her if she was fine and she said she was ready to go. Ellie (Klocek) caught all of the games, and that helped too.”
Hobson was one of the Metro League’s elite hurlers. She earned unanimous selection to the Metro League’s first team.
“I like pitching a lot,” Hobson said. “That’s my favorite position. I just like pitching to batters because I can call the plays and do different things.
“I didn’t expect (to start every Metro game), but I enjoyed it. I still had a lot of energy to pitch the second games, so I did.”
Offensively, Hobson was just as impressive, batting .522 for the season. She collected 59 hits in 113 at bats, collecting 12 doubles and five triples in the process. That earned her a .717 slugging percentage. She also walked 22 times, aiding her .606 on-base percentage. She finished the season with an impressive 1.323 OPS.
“She was a good hitter last year, but she was an even better hitter this year,” Jamison said. “Last year she batted lower in the order to take some of the pressure off. She approaches hitting the same way she does pitching. She grinds it out, so we moved her to the lead-off spot. She makes a pitcher work, and even if they get her out, the pitcher had to work for it. She sets a nice tone for our offense.”
“I was happy with everything, my pitching and my hitting this year,” Hobson said. “I was the leadoff hitter the first game and hit there ever since. On my travel softball team I’m either the first or second hitter, so I was hoping I’d be the first hitter.”
Jamison appreciates Hobson’s work ethic as much as anything. However, he’s not even sure Hobson knows that she has a high work ethic because it seems she enjoys working, possibly making it look like fun.
“She loves to train. I don’t even know if she realizes she likes doing it,” Jamison said. “If I say we are going to run two laps and then hit 50 balls off a tee, she just goes and does it. She enjoys it. She’s a gym rat, or maybe a field rat since this is softball.”
Hobson still has two more years left in her high school career.
“I just want to keep practicing more and see how far we can go into the tournament,” Hobson said.
With Hobson leading the way, don’t be surprised if they go plenty deeper in the state tourney during the next two seasons.