Carlynton's Melko selected for elite event
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Carlynton's Jordan Melko's ability on the softball field hasn't been questioned in the WPIAL as she was an all-section selection as a freshman and sophomore.
Now she will get to show off her skills on the big stage.
The junior pitcher was selected to participate in the Queen of Diamonds Showcase, one of the premier softball showcases in the country.
“It is a really great accomplishment,” Melko said. “I will get to show all the hard work I have put in. It will show me where I stand with other pitchers.”
The Queens of Diamonds Showcase North is in its 19th season and will be held at Kent State University on Jan. 4 and 5. The event attracts athletes from 30 states and two Canadian provinces.
The participants are selected on criteria including ability, potential, academics, graduation year, coach requests and referrals.
The event attracts more than 2,000 applicants from which only 264 athletes are selected. Out of an estimated 1,000 pitchers who applied to the event, Melko is one of only 64 to be selected.
Jordan will be placed on a team with other players as they compete in numerous games. While it will be hard to build chemistry with a team made up of complete strangers, the experience alone will help Melko continue to improve her game.
“The girls come from all over the country and they make the teams up for us,” Melko said. “It will be different, obviously, but should be a really great experience.
“It will motivate me to work harder.”
The appearance at the event will also allow Melko to become better known to college coaches.
“Playing at the next level is my main goal,” Melko said. “To have that chance would be amazing.”
In her first two seasons of varsity softball, Melko – who also plays basketball and volleyball – has struck out 219 batters thanks to a 61 mile-per-hour fastball.
While the Cougars have struggled in softball in recent seasons – the team won a single game between the 2010 and 2011 seasons and has not made the playoffs since the 1990s – the team finished 7-8 last season and was one game away from a playoff berth.
If the softball team can continue the upward trend, it will be the next Carlynton girls varsity sport that ends a long playoff drought.
“We are definitely on the right track,” Melko said. “We went from winning nothing to winning games. We are competitive now. I think as long as we put the work in, we will continue to get better.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.