Even with all of those calls from college coaches looming, Jordyn Bahl remains focused on two things — school and the softball season.
In front of several Power Five coaches Saturday, the junior led Papillion-La Vista to the championship of Bellevue East’s Chieftain Invitational with a 7-0 victory over Lincoln North Star.
Before the start of her freshman year, Bahl committed to Nebraska. But the pitcher, who also played two innings at second base against the Navigators, rescinded that pledge in the spring.
As many as 20 college coaches were at Bahl’s club games this summer, and some showed up Saturday to see Bahl strike out eight in three innings. That group included Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso along with coaches from Washington, Minnesota and North Carolina.
The Sooners have won four NCAA championships, the most recent in 2017. Oklahoma finished as runner-up last year and has qualified for the Women’s College World Series in eight of the past nine seasons.
Also on hand were Nebraska assistants Lori Sippel and Diane Miller, who have been handling the coaching and recruiting duties while coach Rhonda Revelle remains on paid administrative leave.
Softball coaches aren’t allowed to contact recruits before Sept. 1 of their junior year. And Bahl knows that’s coming her way soon.
“I have no idea what to expect,” Bahl said. “School and high school softball are the two most important things right now. The team is playing awesome and we’ve had a great start to the season.
“There is so much energy in that dugout.”
Papio, going for its 15th Class A title, improved to 5-0. The Monarchs were 34-0 heading into the last season’s state championship but lost back-to-back games to Lincoln Southwest on the final day for their sixth runner-up finish.
“Jordyn is doing what (we) expect,” Papio coach Todd Petersen said. “She’s dialed in all the time and she’s a great teammate. She’s had to deal with that (recruiting) all summer.”
Papio earned its spot in Saturday’s title game with a 5-0 victory over Elkhorn while North Star beat Blair 12-2.
In the final, the Monarchs jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first after Wahoo Neumann transfer Maggie Vasa led off with a home run Kaylee Wagner drilled a two-run double.
Papio added three more runs in the fourth, highlighted by back-to-back RBI singles from All-Nebraska catcher Brooke Dumont and Bahl.
North Star coach Brittany Hansen said she was pleased with the way the opening tournament unfolded for the Navigators (3-1), who are in pursuit of their third consecutive state tournament bid.
“The weekend went exactly how we wanted it to go,” Hansen said. “It wasn’t the ending we wanted, but we wanted to see Papillion. Every little single detail they do right. They’ve earned it year in and year out.
“All respect to Papillion, but I believe we have just as good of a team. The girls know the more we play teams like this, the more prepared (they’ll) be down the road for state and these situations.”
Papillion-La Vista (5-0)..........300 31—7 9 0
Lincoln North Star (3-1)..........000 00—0 1 1
W: Jordyn Bahl. L: Alexis Hubbard. 2B: PLV, Kaylee Wagner 2, Kate Voisin, Haley Wilwerding. HR: PLV, Maggie Vasa. A: 450 (est.)