OKLAHOMA CITY — Jordy Bahl wasn’t 100 percent on Thursday.
Battling through injury, the NFCA Freshman of the Year had to dig deep and find different ways to get outs.
And yet, she was still good enough to help deliver Oklahoma a sixth National Championship.
Throwing 55 pitches across four innings against Texas at Hall of Fame Stadium, Bahl worked through plenty of traffic on the base paths.
The Longhorns managed five hits off Bahl and drew three walks, but great defensive play behind the true freshman star meant Texas only struck twice on the scoreboard.
Great plays from Jayda Coleman, Alyssa Brito, Taylon Snow and Grace Lyons in the field highlighted Bahl’s four innings of work, something that allowed Bahl to settle in.
“I think it helped her quite a bit, to be honest,” OU head coach Patty Gasso said after the game. “Jordy was maybe at 60 percent, so she's just trying to use some smoke and mirrors a little bit just to get us as far as we could go with her.
“… Jordy just didn't have the velocity, 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.”
After Bahl’s performance against UCLA on Monday, Gasso said she wasn’t even sure if the true freshman would be able to return to pitch in this postseason.
But after deliberations with the OU medical staff and Bahl’s family, the star right-hander was able to return to the circle and play a role in the title-winning performance.
“First thing I'll say is our doctors have been incredible helping us get to this point,” Gasso said. “… So giving her that opportunity — Jordy helped get us here, and you haven't seen her in five weeks, so people start to forget about her. 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.”
Gasso backed her freshman pitcher time after time in 2022, and Bahl proved her right at virtually every turn.
In Oklahoma’s fourth game of the year, Bahl dominated UCLA, striking out 14 Bruins to propel OU to the early-season win.
Bahl won her first OU-Texas start in Austin, fanning 15 Longhorns, and then she allowed just one run and four hits in her first Bedlam appearance.
Finishing the year with a 22-1 record, Bahl closed out her first year on campus in Norman with the fifth best ERA in the country (1.09).
The Papillion, NE, native struck out 205 batters, only giving up 34 walks across 141 1/3 innings.
Despite winning a national title in her first season, Bahl said she’s fired up to come back next year and work toward winning another championship.
“I'm really going to sit in (this feeling) for a little bit,” Bahl said Thursday. “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.
“So I don't ever worry about us ever losing our hunger to win more national championships. I'm going to enjoy this one.”
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