Pitcher Jordyn Bahl, considered one of the top high school prospects in the country, won the Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award on Monday, becoming the second straight Oklahoma signee to win the award after Jayda Coleman won it in 2020.
Bahl is ranked No. 1 by Extra Inning Softball in the 2021 recruiting class. The Papillion-La Vista High School graduate thought she was being interviewed for winning the Gatorade Nebraska Player of the Year award on Monday, but was surprised by her family and friends with the news that she’d won the national award.
“(Gatorade) told us they were just going to ask us a couple of questions about our high school run,” Bahl said. “The first question was about that, but then the second question was, ‘How would you feel if you won Gatorade National Player of the Year?’
“And then that’s when my family, my grandparents, my pitching coach and my brothers walked out with the trophy. It was crazy, I started crying and everyone just cheered. It was cool.”
Bahl won Nebraska’s Gatorade Player of the Year award for the second consecutive season after leading Papillion-La Vista to a state championship. She posted a 0.10 ERA and a 27-0 record in 2020-21.
As a four-year starter, Bahl led the Monarchs to three state titles and a state-record win streak of 72 games. Bahl originally committed to Nebraska in 2017, but later decommitted and committed to OU in 2019.
The Sooners are coming off a Women’s College World Series win and return six starters to their regular lineup. Bahl, with the departures of Juarez and Saile, will look to fill the holes in the rotation alongside freshman Nicole May and incoming graduate transfer Hope Trautwein.
“I’m really excited to go down there and learn,” Bahl said. “A big goal for me has always been to go play college softball and win the world series… and I’m going to a team that just did that. They’re only losing a few players so I’m going to get to go down there and learn from these veterans who have already accomplished that goal.”
While watching the WCWS, Bahl took note of the passion the Sooners play with and the togetherness of the team. She said the way the team plays with emotion is one of the reasons she’s looking forward to playing with the group.
“Those are teammates that you want to play for,” Bahl said. “Those are people that you want to go to battle with... I’m excited to play with a team that has so much grit, passion and just love for each other and for the game.”
Bahl is the second No. 1 overall recruit in the last two years for head coach Patty Gasso, who is looking for extra talent for an already loaded roster vying for back-to-back WCWS wins.
“I’m just excited to go and learn,” Bahl said. “(To) develop and just see what we can do.”