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Oklahoma rides ‘very, very hot’ hand of Jordy Bahl to WCWS lead

Sophomore pitcher Jordy Bahl has helped propel Oklahoma softball to the brink of a third consecutive Women's College World Series title. (SARAH PHIPPS/THE OKLAHOMAN/USA TODAY NETWORK)

Sophomore pitcher Jordy Bahl has propelled Oklahoma softball to the brink of a third consecutive Women’s College World Series title.

The Sooners’ winning streak reached 52 games with Wednesday’s 5-0 victory against Florida State, which puts them one game away from a third consecutive national title.

Bahl tossed a complete-game shutout, adding to her already impressive WCWS run. She has thrown 21 ⅔ scoreless innings, including 30 strikeouts compared to just 12 hits and three walks.

“She is made to be able to do that,” Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso said. “She wants the ball like nobody’s business. Not that we don’t have faith in our others. It’s just she is like a very, very hot pitcher right now. She’s throwing the best she has all season right now.

“You want to take advantage of that without running her too hard where she’s going to run out of gas.”

And Bahl can contribute on offense too. She served as a pinch runner in Wednesday’s win, and she provided a key boost.

“Jordy has wheels,” teammate Kinzie Hansen said. “She runs circles around us at practice sometimes. She strikes us out, too. It’s all over the place.”

Those wheels came in handy, as Bahl scored the first run for Oklahoma in what had been a scoreless game through three innings.

“I think base running is really fun,” Bahl said with a smile on Wednesday. “So when I went out there, I was thinking just be fast but be smart.

“Get a good jump. If the ball is in the dirt, you’re going, but get a good jump.”

The Sooners added two more runs in the fourth inning after Bahl got the team on the scoreboard, then one each in the fifth and the sixth.

“From that point on, everything just started,” Gasso said. “We started finding some gaps, get a little more confidence in what we’re doing.”

The Sooners will look to clinch the series – and a third straight WCWS title – on Thursday night.