OU softball coach Patty Gasso 'hopeful' that Jordy Bahl can return for NCAA Super Regional
“She is doing some movement, and we’re just going to remain hopeful that she is going to be ready to go,” Gasso said of Bahl after Sunday’s 20-0 blowout of Texas A&M that sent the Sooners to the Super Regional round of the NCAA softball tournament.
But before the regional, Gasso offered some insight on Bahl’s injury on "The Oklahoma Breakdown" podcast with former OU football players Gabe Ikard and Teddy Lehman.
“It’s her forearm,” Gasso said on the podcast. “It’s what her forearm looks like. There was a time when she couldn’t lift her arm.”
Gasso said Bahl’s injury happened before the Sooners’ regular-season finale May 7.
“She fielded a ground ball in our pregame warmup, threw it and felt something just really attack her forearm," Gasso said. "Went in, it was hurting so badly. They got the X-rays and she’s been in constant care and everything we can do to help her through it. The pain has subsided substantially.”
Bahl hasn’t pitched since coming on in relief to throw 1 ⅔ scoreless innings the day before her injury.
Bahl was the Sooners’ ace through the regular season, handling most of their marquee matchups, including non-conference games against UCLA and Kentucky.
Bahl is 21-1 with a 0.95 ERA and 199 strikeouts with 29 walks in 132 ⅓ innings.
In the regionals, super senior Hope Trautwein — making her postseason debut after transferring from North Texas in the offseason — and Nicole May carried the load in the circle for the Sooners.
Through 17 innings, OU’s pitching staff combined to allow five hits and two earned runs. It struck out 18 and walked two in the regional.
The Sooners swept the three games of the regional by a combined score of 37-2 — the most scored by a regional winner this season.
OU hosts Central Florida in a best-of-three super regional beginning at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Marita Hynes Field. The second game of the series is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, with a third game, if needed, played Sunday at a to-be-determined time.
Though Gasso offered more detail on the podcast than she has elsewhere, she maintained the optimism that Bahl had a chance to pitch again this season, saying it would likely come down to her pain tolerance.
“I’m not going to have Jordy do anything she’s not ready to do. I’m not going to have Jordy do anything the doctor doesn’t agree that she can do,” Gasso said. “So we’re ready one way or the other.”
Gasso pointed out that Arizona great Jennie Finch finished her 32-0 junior season in 2001 with a fractured forearm, helping the Wildcats win a national title. Gasso said she’d talked to Finch about playing through the injury.
“There’s no ‘boo-hoo, poor us,’” Gasso said on the podcast. “I’m going to expect that you’re going to see Jordy Bahl. I just am, by how she’s made. She’s made differently. She is made differently.
"There’s going to have to be something so substantial to keep her off the mound and with the way things are going right now it looks more hopeful than it did a week ago, that’s for sure.”
After Sunday’s game, Gasso did shed some light on the status of catcher Kinzie Hansen, who was limited to one pinch-hit appearance in the regional.
“Little tweak of the ankle for Hansen,” Gasso said. “Just thought we could give her this weekend off and get ready for next week, trusting we were going to do our job and that’s what this team knew we needed to do.”
No. 1 OU vs. No. 16 UCF
NCAA Super Regional at Marita Hynes Field:
Friday: 3:30 p.m., ESPN2
Saturday: 1 p.m., ESPN
x-Sunday: TBD (x-if necessary)