Standout freshman Jordy Bahl saw limited action at the Women’s College World Series coming back from injury, but the Sooners hope that experience will bode well for the young pitcher’s future.
Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso trusted Bahl to start in the circle for the Sooners’ title-clinching game Thursday against Texas. Bahl had only played three games over the last month after suffering an arm injury before the team’s regular season finale.
With redshirt senior Hope Trautwein coming off a five-inning performance in Game 1 of the WCWS championship final, Gasso decided to stick with Bahl even though she wasn’t at her best.
Texas led off the game with two singles before Bahl walked the next batter to load up the bases with no outs. Still, with the help of two incredible plays by Jayda Coleman in centerfield, the freshman was able to get out of the inning with only two runs allowed.
Gasso said she thought Bahl was only playing at about 60% of her potential against Texas.
“Jordy just didn’t have the velocity,” Gasso said. “So we were trying to use what she had with movement and spin, and Jordy was ready to go as long as we needed her to, knowing that Jordy was throwing probably 6 miles an hour slower, which is significant.”
Bahl bounced back to allow two hits and no runs over the next three innings. When Oklahoma tied the game on an RBI-single by Taylon Snow in the top of the fifth, Gasso brought in Nicole May to replace Bahl.
The freshman closed out her first WCWS final pitching four innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs with two strikeouts. Though it was limited, Bahl turned in a gritty performance to help the Sooners sweep Texas and win its sixth national title in program history.
“With this being (my) first one, just like Jayda said, I’m really going to sit in it for a little bit, but then as far as our team’s future, we’re all competitors, and when you are a competitor, if there’s something else out there you can go get, you’re going to want to go get it,” Bahl said about winning the title. “So I don’t ever worry about us ever losing our hunger to win more national championships. I’m going to enjoy this one.”
In three appearances at the WCWS, Bahl had an ERA of 3.11, allowing eight hits and four earned runs over nine innings pitched. The Nebraska native closed out an impressive freshman campaign that included 205 strikeouts and a 1.09 ERA.
“Jordy helped get us here, and you haven’t seen her in five weeks, so people start to forget about her,” Gasso said. “The other pitchers did a great job, but we wouldn’t be here without Jordy. So to give her that moment was big for all of us and big for her, for her future as well.”
As Oklahoma celebrates back-to-back national titles, its still left to be determined how long Oklahoma’s stretch of dominance will continue. The Sooners will continue to lean on Bahl to deliver in big moments going forward.
Redshirt senior Hope Trautwein won’t be with the team next season, which will leave Bahl with the responsibility of leading the pitching staff into the future.