There was a noticeable absence for Oklahoma during the team’s two games last weekend at the Big 12 Tournament.
OU freshman pitcher Jordy Bahl missed the tournament with arm soreness and was unable to play during the Sooners’ 4-3 loss to Oklahoma State in the tournament championship. When asked if Bahl would return for the Sooners’ regional this weekend, Gasso wasn’t able to give much of an update.
“Still day to day,” Gasso said of Bahl’s status. “The goal is to get her pain free and we’re still working in that direction. [There’s] a lot of different things that we’re trying to do for her. Doctors are involved. If it’s doable, it will be done, but we’re not going to do it if it’s not comfortable enough for her to do it.”
Bahl has quickly blossomed into one of softball’s best pitchers during her first collegiate season. She’s started 23 games on the mound, posting a 21-1 record with a 0.95 ERA in 132.1 innings pitched. She’s struck out 199 batters while surrendering just 63 hits.
Earlier this month, she was named the Big 12’s Co-Pitcher of the Year and was selected to the All-Big 12 First team.
Bahl’s last appearance came in the second game of the Bedlam series earlier this month, and Gasso said she’s working hard to get back on the field.
“With this injury, she’s handling it very optimistically,” Gasso said. “She’s frustrated she can’t help the team, but she’s confident she’s going to get the opportunity to get back on the field.”
Gasso said she was unsure if she pitched at all during the Sooners’ practice Tuesday.
“If she did anything today it was very, very, very light,” Gasso said.
If Bahl can’t go, the Sooners will look at other options.
Sophomore Nicole May could see a bigger role this weekend and has experience playing in big games. She pitched in several key moments during the postseason last year, including the first game of the Women’s College World Series last year, and she pitched four innings against Oklahoma State last weekend.
“I like what she’s been doing,” Gasso said. “She’s throwing really well in practice and getting some big strikeouts and putting these guys in pressure situations. Nicole May has always done very well under pressure. She showed that last year and she’s been showing it this season.
She’s started 12 games this season, posting a 12-0 with a 1.11 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 69.2 innings.
Even if Bahl plays, Gasso could look to get all of the team’s pitchers in the game against Prairie View A&M on Friday. Hope Trautwein has started 15 games on the mound this season and pitched 10.1 innings last weekend, and Macy McAdoo could see the field after dealing with a hip injury for most of the season.
But Gasso emphasized that the Sooners are in a better place entering this postseason compared to last year.
“We’ve got three pitchers that can handle the business on the mound with an offense that can score them runs, a defense that’s been [hotter] as of late than they have [been] all season,” Gasso said. “I just like [that] we don’t have to depend on pitchers throwing shutouts. and last year, it became a hitters team. We were trying to outhit teams, and I don’t foresee us having to handle those types of things this weekend. Our pitchers can shut some teams down and we were in a different space last year at this time.”
Jocelyn Alo named top three finalist for Player of the Year
The home run queen could add another accolade to her historic career next month.
Alo was named a top-three finalist for the 2022 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, the organization announced Wednesday. It’s the fourth year in a row the Sooners have had a finalist for the award.
She’s currently the reigning player of the year after winning the award last season, putting her in a position to become just the fifth player to win the award in consecutive seasons.
Earlier this month, Alo was named the Big 12 Player of the year for the second year in a row and also claimed a spot on the All-Big 12 First Team for the fourth time in her career.
Alo broke softball’s career home run record earlier this season, hitting her 96th career homer to surpass former OU player Lauren Chamberlain. The Hawaii native now sits with 113 career homers entering the regional tournament this weekend.