Savannah Jo Dorsey is seemingly smiling between every pitch when she is in the circle at Ohio Softball field. You wouldn't be able to tell what the situation is based on her body language.
“She just loves it,” Ohio catcher Madison Claytor said. "If you watch her on the mound, you can just see it in her demeanor and the way that she carries herself. Regardless of she just walked three batters or she just struckout three batters, she’s still gonna approach it the same way."
Behind the smile and joy on her face, however, is a fierce competitor and one of the most dominant pitchers in the country.
Pitching is arguably the most important aspect of softball. At Ohio, coach Jodi Hermanek sleeps well at night when she knows Ohio pitcher Savannah Jo Dorsey will be in the circle the next day.
That tends to he be the case most days, as Dorsey is top 5 in the country in innings pitched. She rarely disappoints.
Dorsey has only allowed more than three earned runs in a game three times this year in 35 appearances (23 starts). The most recent instance came on March 4 against Texas Tech, about a month and a half ago.
With great pitchers, there are times in games when they are in a groove and it feels like the opposing lineup has no hope. When Dorsey is in peak form, she is as dominant as they come.
“Her pitches have great movement," Claytor said. "We bat off her all the time and we know what’s coming and we still strikeout on her.”
As proof, let’s go back to a time when Dorsey wasn’t in peak form. On April 5 against Kent State, Dorsey pitched all 14 innings of a doubleheader, went 2-0, gave up three combined runs and struckout 23 combined batters on a day when both she and Hermanek said she didn’t have the best command of her pitches.
Kent State probably didn’t think she was off her game.
Need some more proof? Look no further than March 29, 2016. The then 12th ranked Kentucky Wildcats came into town, and Kentucky ace Kelsea Nunley was sporting an earned run average below one.
That didn’t mater to Dorsey, however. The two pitchers dueled it out for seven innings each without allowing a run.
Dorsey outlasted Nunley in eight innings, giving up one hit and striking out 11 as the Bobcats won on a walk off RBI from center fielder Deanna Cole.
Dorsey leads the nation in strikeouts as of April 19, and holds six Ohio school records in basically just three years as a pitcher. While this is her fourth year at Ohio, she only appeared in two games last season because of a back injury.
When asked if Dorsey was the best pitcher she had ever coached, Hermanek gave a simple answer. "Hands down."