Dolan ready to pass her on softball tips

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She was a slugger, an ace and a record holder.

Now, Jodi Dolan is raising a family and fighting the good fight as a probation officer in Truckee.

Dolan, though, is one of six former Fallon athletes being celebrated at Saturday’s Hometown Heroes event at Churchill County High School.

“I was initially surprised and impressed that something like this is being put together in Fallon. I think, ultimately, anytime you can be part of giving back to your community and athletes … I’m definitely supportive of that.”

She has kept a close eye on the recent success of the Fallon softball program, as her brother, Brad Dolan, is an assistant coach with the team.

Jodi Dolan, though, is arguably Fallon’s best and most decorated softball player ever as she dominated the field during her tenure in the green and white. She was tabbed the Nevada State Pitcher of the Year in 1993 and followed that up with the Northern Nevada Most Valuable Player of the Year award in 1994.

“I had support in Fallon with parents and coaches,” Dolan said. “My mom put in all kinds of crazy hours to transport me. As a mom now, I look back and kind of shake my head. She put in a whole lot of time, energy and money.”

But times were different, even for a talent like Dolan. The state had yet to develop a reputation to find and recruit athletes, so Dolan went to the source.

She participated in an exposure camp in Irvine, Calif., and little did she know it would change her life forever.

“Ohio State was there and that’s when I got my offer from them,” Dolan said. “I got a humungous opportunity when I went to that camp.”

At the camp, Dolan impressed and the suitors came calling. Hawaii, San Jose State, Pacific and Ohio State all showed interest, but one university soon stood above the rest.

Dolan received a full scholarship to Ohio State, but she was also offered a full in-state scholarship to SJSU. The difference, which she didn’t realize at the time, was SJSU’s offer only covered in-state tuition until she established residency in California.

“I didn’t understand the difference, but clearly my mom and pitching coach did,” Dolan said. “At the time, I had no idea Ohio State was the biggest university in the United States. It only took me about three months to figure that out.”

But her decision was an easy one once she visited Columbus, Ohio. She signed with the Buckeyes and belted her way into the record books.

In 1998, she belted her 10th homer to set the OSU record, which has since been broken. Dolan also pitched for the Buckeyes.

To show how far women’s softball has come, Dolan now ranks 13th all-time in OSU history with 12 career homers. Sam Marder currently holds the record with 61.

Dolan, though, also ranks ninth in stolen bases (38), 13th in RBIs (90), 17th in hits (179) and is seventh in doubles (38).

“Looking back on it, it’s easy to be impressed,” she said of the home run record. “In the moment, it was very surreal for me. I was very lucky to go to college with a major football team with funds. We flew places and traveled well.”

Later that year, Dolan was drafted in the first round of the Women’s Professional Softball League by the Virginia Roadsters as a pitcher. After the season, she earned her degree, but the following season was traded to Akron.

Although the league soon folded, Dolan turned to law enforcement and worked as a “pseudo warden” at a minimum/maximum security men’s facility in North Carolina for five years.

About 11 years ago, though, she returned to Nevada and now lives in Reno and commutes to Truckee.

“It was super important for me to come back this way,” Dolan said.


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