OU softball: Freshman pitcher Jordy Bahl will play during WCWS, Gasso said

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Jun. 1—After missing the last few weeks, inclding all of the postseason, OU pitcher Jordy Bahl will return to the mound for the Women's College World Series.

The only question now is how much she'll play.

OU coach Patty Gasso confirmed the freshman pitcher will see action this weekend, with the Sooners set to open the WCWS at 1:30 p.m. Thursday against Northwestern.

"You're going to see her pitch this week," Gasso said Wednesday during the team's media availability. "How much? We're still working."

That's welcomed news for the Sooners. Bahl, who was named the NFCA Freshman of the Year Tuesday night, hasn't played since May 6 against Oklahoma State with an arm injury, and has missed all seven games of the postseason.

Gasso has been cautious with her star pitcher, and the team has insisted on holding her out of the lineup until she's pain free. As far as how much she'll pitch, that question remains unclear.

It's kind of going like going into a laboratory and knowing exactly what you can and can't do, how many pitches," Gasso said. "We're still kind of putting all of that together. But we have followed doctors' orders, we have done everything we're supposed to do, including talking with Jordy, talking with doctors, communicating with her parents to make sure this is the right thing to do.

"She is not in enough severe pain that if she was, this wouldn't even be an option. But we have done everything right and that has allowed her to have this opportunity."

Bahl has appeared and started in more games than any other OU pitcher this season, recording 199 strikeouts to 29 walks. She's fourth national in ERA (.95).

Even if Bahl is limited this week, the Sooners have established depth behind her. With Nicole May and Hope Trautwein leading the way, the Sooners have only surrendered three runs in the last five games. Trautwein leads the nation in ERA (.40), with May not far behind at fifth (.99).

"I think we feel good and feel fresh," May said. "This whole week was kind of fine-tuning things and also getting our bodies right. We do a lot to take care of ourselves. So coming in, we're feeling good."

Jesse Crittenden is the sports editor of The Transcript and covers OU athletics. Reach him at jesse@normantranscript.com or at 405-366-3580