OKLAHOMA CITY — Monday, Jordy Bahl got a proper introduction to the Women’s College World Series stage.
Bahl saw action for the first time this postseason in Oklahoma’s WCWS opener against Northwestern when the NFCA Freshman of the Year recorded the final out of the game.
It was important to see Bahl return to the circle, but she only had to throw 11 relatively low-pressure pitches as the game was well in hand against the Wildcats.
In the first game against the UCLA Bruins, OU head coach Patty Gasso turned to Bahl in a high-leverage situation.
Trailing 5-1, Bahl steadied the game for the Sooners, giving the Oklahoma offense some time to claw back into the game.
In 4 2/3 innings, Bahl struck out four Bruins, allowing two runs on two hits while issuing a pair of walks.
Oklahoma ultimately lost the contest 7-3 and, instead punched its ticket to the National Championship With a dominant 15-0 win in Game 2. Still, Bahl’s effort, while clearly not 100 percent healthy, gave Gasso optimism about how the talented freshman can help the team for the rest of the WCWS.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew that it was time to give it a try,” Gasso said after the doubleheader against UCLA Monday. “Because, otherwise, she’s going to be sitting on the bench, and I’m going to keep wondering if and how and when.
“So we thought it might be a good opportunity, and it started to look real. Like, whoa. She threw harder. Adrenaline was going. I thought she had good control. I thought she did a really good job.”
As the Sooners prepare to face the Texas Longhorns in the WCWS championship series starting on Wednesday, Bahl’s performance against the Bruins will help propel her into OU’s final games of the season.
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“It’s also huge for Jordy to come in and perform as she did,” Oklahoma pitcher Hope Trautwein said Monday. “This wasn’t a setback for Jordy. It’s just — it was just her being able to come back at the World Series as a freshman and perform the way she did.
“She’s been impressing me all season, and she only has to go up from here.”
Bahl threw 72 pitches on Monday against the Bruins, something Gasso said was important to see what her limitations would be for the rest of the WCWS.
“We pressed her a bit,” said Gasso, “and I thought she was starting to wear out just a bit.”
After the double-header against the Bruins, Gasso said Bahl wasn’t feeling discomfort as the adrenaline of the moment helped her pull through and perform.
Tuesday, with the adrenaline gone, Gasso confirmed Bahl suffered no ill effects, and will be a factor in the WCWS championship series.
“Jordy will be good to go,” she said.
Oklahoma and Texas meet in Game 1 of the championship series on at 7:30 pm on Wednesday at Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, and the contest will be broadcast on ESPN.
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