OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma All-American Jordy Bahl continued her dominance in the pitcher’s circle with a complete-game shutout as the Sooners beat Florida State 5-0 in Game 1 of the Women’s College World Series championship series on Thursday night.
Bahl extended her scoreless streak during the WCWS to 21⅔ innings, which is the most since Fresno State’s Amanda Scott in 1998.
As a cherry on top, Bahl also scored the game’s first run while pinch running for Haley Lee in the fourth inning, going from first to home on a Kinzie Hansen double to the center-field wall.
“Jordy was just absolutely exceptional,” OU coach Patty Gasso said.
Gasso acknowledged the Sooners have to be careful not to overuse Bahl, but said, “She is just feeling it right now.”
“She is made to be able to do that,” Gasso said of Bahl’s four appearances during the WCWS. “She wants the ball like nobody’s business. Not that we don’t have faith in our other pitchers. It’s just that she is a very, very hot pitcher right now. She’s throwing the best she has all season right now.”
Bahl said she was nervous as she and her teammates waited through two early weather delays in the locker room.
“I was doing a lot of pacing, just trying to stay mentally locked in,” she said. “Kind of like, ‘OK, when are we going to start playing? Are they going to cancel?’ I was very worried about what was going to happen.”
Bahl allowed only two hits and struck out 10 batters in seven innings. She improved to 22-1 on the season with a 0.92 ERA.
“I mean, she’s got a legit rise, drop and changeup,” said FSU pitcher Mack Leonard, who went 0-for-2 at the plate. “She’s a really good pitcher, really competitive. Right now, she’s having a really strong World Series. I think she’s doing great as an athlete. And when you’re that competitive and you’ve got three phenomenal pitches right in your hip pocket and you’ve got a defense like that, I mean it’s pretty tough to compete against.
“But we can make adjustments. We can come out better tomorrow.”
FSU coach Lonni Alameda threw Oklahoma something of a curveball by not starting ace pitcher Kathryn Sandercock and instead going with Leonard, who had pitched less than 40 innings this season.
Leonard gave up no earned runs through three innings. But then the wheels came off after she hit Lee with a pitch and gave up an RBI double to Hansen.
Makenna Reid tried to stop the bleeding but let two more runs score.
Leonard said she trusted Alameda to make the right decisions.
“I believe in Coach and what she has to do,” she said. “Honestly, I think a lot of people will give their opinions about it, and I think that’s awesome. Like, great, you have opinions, but I also think that we all trust each other.”
Alameda said the good thing about a best-of-three series is you get to make adjustments after Game 1.
“So I think it goes back to what we’ve been doing all season versus the tournament-type mentality,” Alameda said. “We’ve got to play our game. That’s all we have with our backs against the wall. And regardless, it’s been an incredible season. For us to be where we’re at right now, I told the kids, ‘Don’t hang your head. It’s been an incredible season. They’re a great ball club. It’s a great environment. We got outside ourselves a little bit. Let’s be better tomorrow and let the chips fall where they fall.”
Oklahoma takes Game 1 of WCWS as Bahl shuts down Florida State