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The Breakout Women's Sports Star of 2022: Jordy Bahl, Oklahoma Softball's Flamethrower

Max Scherzer is known for two things: his insane pitching talent and his intensity on the mound. How many other pitchers have sent their managers away not with a gesture or a civil conversation, but instead by yelling "I WANT IT!" When Max is on a roll he prowls around the mound, like a panther stalking his next meal while the infield throws the ball around. As a teammate of Max's, there's no other pitcher you'd rather have on the mound pitching for your team. As an opposing hitter, there's nothing scarier. The same exact thing can be said about Oklahoma Softball's flame-throwing, energizer bunny, Jordy Bahl.

Jordyn Bahl was Sickeningly Good in High School

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When she steps inside the circle, Jordyn "Jordy" Bahl becomes a hybrid pitcher/cheerleader for the Oklahoma Sooners, the crown jewel of Sooner Athletics. You can feel her positive energy radiating with every breath. Bahl is her own hype woman and that must be her secret since she's been one of the best pitchers in the game during the 2022 season. But Bahl has been pitching lights out before she put on a Sooners jersey.

And when we say lights out, we mean LIGHTS OUT.

Let's start off with the big important awards she won in 2021, like Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year and Gatorade Nebraska Player of the Year. If it's not obvious, Jordy was the consensus No. 1 prospect in her high school class and it almost seems unfair that she chose to attend powerhouse Oklahoma. But winning isn't anything new to Bahl, who led her high school team, the Papillion-LaVista High School Monarchs to three consecutive Class A State titles while earning All-State honors every year starting with her freshman season. Sure, awards and championships are great, but what about her stats? Buckle up, because these numbers are absolutely insane.

In 2021 alone, Bahl posted a stunning 0.10 ERA with an undefeated 27-0 record. In her 137 innings pitched, she fanned 316 batters, the same exact number she struck out the previous season.  Opposing hitters only touched Bahl for 27 hits, while she surrendered only 15 walks. In my career as a sports writer, I have never seen such a dominant force in the circle and I don't know if I ever will again. In the batter's box, Bahl wasn't a slouch as she hit .510 with 20 home runs and 55 RBIs.

If you were wondering why Oklahoma wanted her so badly, we hope you found your answer.

Jordy Bahl Showcases Her Talents in Norman, Oklahoma

Jordyn Bahl #98 of the Oklahoma Sooners walks off the field during the fourth inning against the Texas Longhorns during the Division I Womens Softball Championship

Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Related: Hey, NCAA: It's Unfair Oklahoma Softball Gets Home Field Advantage Every WCWS

Bahl's first two huge wins came against UCLA and Tennessee early in the season. Striking out 14 UCLA Bruins and 16 Lady Volunteers, Bahl was setting the tone for her first season as a Sooner. She continued to blow through collegiate hitters until early May when she felt something pop in her throwing arm. Oklahoma's legendary softball head coach Patty Gasso then decided to play it safe with Bahl, considering the Sooners had already established their place in the national landscape. That move meant Bahl's first regular season was over and after missing the Big 12 Tournament due to soreness, Gasso made the call to see how she felt after the Big 12 Championship. And despite that abrupt end to her regular season, Bahl had already left her mark on the game in a big way.

In her 132.1 innings, freshman pitcher Jordy Bahl finished her 2022 season with 199 strikeouts, 29 walks and a 0.95 ERA, which ranked fifth in the entire country. Standing out in a Big 12 conference with Oklahoma State fireballer Kelly Maxwell is difficult enough, but Bahl rose to the occasion. To add insult to injury for opposing hitters, Bahl kept their bats quiet only allowing 18 earned runs the entire year while holding hitters to a meager .137 average. Bahl also threw two no-hitters and a perfect game against Cal-State Fullerton. Within the Big 12, Bahl pitched 53.2 innings with a 1.30 ERA and 71 strikeouts. Also notable, no Big 12 hitter was able to take Bahl deep in all of 2022. Simply put, paired with Hope Trautwein and Nicole May, Bahl gives OU a devastating arsenal of elite pitchers in their circle.

What does that kind of season get a pitcher? How about Big 12 Freshman of the Year, Co-Pitcher of the Year, National Freshman of the Year, and an All-Big 12 First Team selection. And to top it all off, why not defeat the Texas Longhorns in the Women's College World Series, continuing OU Softball's insane national title run? Sounds like a great plan, and one that doesn't seem likely to stop anytime soon with Bahl and Tiare Jennings taking the reigns.

Let's just put it like this: If you didn't know who Jordy Bahl was, you are about to meet her for the first time in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. She's absolutely fantastic and she's the future of USA Softball.