Sooner ace Jordy Bahl not back yet
The way Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso described it Tuesday, there's no telling when the freshman phenom might return to circle
Speaking to media in advance of hosting the Norman Regional, which begins Friday at Marita Hynes Field, Oklahoma softball coach Patty Gasso explained that she still doesn’t know if freshman phenom Jordy Bahl will be returning to the circle this weekend.
Bahl, the recognized ace of the national No. 1 seed Sooner pitching staff, has thrown 132 1/3 innings, going 16-1 with a 0.95 earned run average, striking out 199 and walking 29.
Staff mates Hope Trautwein and Nicole May carried the pitching load at the recently completed Big 12 tournament — in which No. 7 national seed Oklahoma State stunned OU in the final — and may have do it again as the Sooners aim to advance into super regional play past Texas A&M, Minnesota and Prairie View A&M.
“Still day to day,” Gasso said, referencing Bahl’s availability. “The goal is to get her pain free and we’re still working in that direction.”
Perhaps most telling was the lack of a time frame, or even a presumed time frame, where Bahl’s return is concerned.
“A lot of different things that we’re trying for her. Doctors are involved as well,” Gasso said. “So, if it’s doable, it will be done.”
The word given to the condition that kept Bahl out of the conference tournament was simply “soreness.”
Though Gasso mentioned the possibility of using Macy McAdoo, who’s only thrown two-thirds of an inning this season, Bahl’s absence, should she remain absent, will likely mean a repeat of OU’s counting on Trautwein and May.
Trautwein carries the second best earned run average in the nation, 0.31, though her place in the staff’s pecking order is better explained by her innings count, 91 1/3, more than 40 fewer than Bahl. In those innings, Trautwein has amassed a 21-1 record, striking out 135 and walking 32.
May, in 69 2/3 innings, has gone 12-0 with a 1.11 earned run average, striking out 76 and walking 24.
Gasso expressed confidence in her staff Tuesday, while simultaneously acknowledging that a team like OU, leading the nation in batting average (.367), on-base percentage (.464), slugging percentage (.727) and home runs per game (2.45), does not need perfect pitching to win.
“We don’t have to depend on pitchers throwing shutouts,” she said. “Last year it became a hitters team. We’re trying to outhit teams.”
The Sooners enter regional play 49-2 and will begin the march toward what they hope to be the program’s sixth national championship and second straight at 6:30 p.m. Friday against Prairie View A&M.
Norman Regional schedule
Game 1: Texas A&M vs. Minnesota, 4 p.m. (ESPN2)
Game 2: Oklahoma vs. Prairie View, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, TBA
Game 4: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, TBA
Game 5: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner, TBA
Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner, TBA
Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner, if necessary
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