NORMAN, Okla. (BVM) — The first season of Jordy Bahl’s collegiate career with the back-to-back national champion Oklahoma Sooners was nothing short of remarkable, albeit not exactly surprising for those who followed her Nebraska high school career at Papillion-La Vista.
The consensus No. 1 player in the Class of 2022, Bahl posted staggering numbers from the pitcher’s circle and the batter’s box while leading the Papillion-La Vista Monarchs to consecutive perfect seasons and three straight Class A state championships. As would be expected, her talents translated quite well to the college level as she immediately became one of the most important players on the No. 1 team in the country and earned NFCA National Freshman of the Year honors.
But unlike the past three years, Bahl didn’t know if she would be on the field to help her team win the last game of the season. A forearm injury she suffered in May left the rest of her season in doubt and forced her to miss nearly a month, including all of the Sooners’ NCAA Regional and Super Regional games.
Then to the surprise of many, Bahl made a dramatic return in Oklahoma’s first game of the Women’s College World Series, recording the final out of the Sooners’ 13-2 victory over Northwestern on June 2. Though it was far from a dominant outing as she allowed hits to two of the three batters she faced, the spark Bahl provided with her return in front of a crowd of more than 12,000 people meant a lot to the Sooners.
“I knew with two outs we wanted to do it,” OU head coach Patty Gasso said of putting Bahl in the circle for the last out against Northwestern. “It’s really thinking ahead and strategizing as to a young lady who has been dying to get on this mound and struggling through it. To give her that opportunity was gold, and our team responded to it.”
After Bahl pitched 4 ⅔ innings in the first of two games needed to eliminate UCLA on Monday, Gasso turned to her star freshman again Thursday as Oklahoma looked to sweep Texas in the WCWS finals to claim its second straight national title. Bahl delivered with four solid innings of work against a dangerous Longhorns lineup and earned the win that secured the Sooners’ sixth national title in program history.
“Three weeks ago, I couldn’t throw 10 pitches in a bullpen and every pitch that I could throw was like 50 mph and I was just trying to put it over the plate,” Bahl said Thursday after Oklahoma beat Texas 10-5 to capture the title. “So just the fact that God allowed me to heal enough quick enough and play tonight and have an impact… it’s just like a miracle; it’s crazy.”
The trophy stays 𝐈𝐍 𝐍𝐎𝐑𝐌𝐀𝐍 🏆 pic.twitter.com/49OO4Y2vsb
— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) June 10, 2022
Bahl finished her phenomenal freshman season 22-1 with a 1.09 ERA and 205 strikeouts in 141 ⅓ innings pitched, and it’s just the start of what could be a historic college career for a special player who’s known nothing but winning since early in her high school career. Fittingly, Bahl had no hesitation when asked what’s to come from the Sooners over the next few years.
“Some more national championships,” Bahl said.