By Steve Beideck
When Nebraska was making its surprising run to the 2022 Big Ten softball tournament championship, fans began to ask one of those pesky what-if questions.
“What if Jordyn Bahl hadn’t changed her commitment to Oklahoma? Can you imagine how far Nebraska could go if she was playing in Lincoln?”
Wonder no more. Bahl is back in her home state and wearing the Nebraska scarlet and cream and enjoying fall practice with her new teammates. The 2021 Gatorade National Player of the Year also is rekindling her passion for the sport.
“It’s been really exciting, finally getting a routine here with school and practices,” Bahl said. “All summer we had a huge majority of the girls back working together. (The chemistry) is definitely still building, but it has been for a while, too.
“Now that it’s actually happening, it’s just really fun. I don’t know, it feels like I’m 12 again. It’s really cool.”
Bahl and teammate Brooke Andrews, along with head coach Rhonda Revelle, spoke to the media Wednesday before the start of practice at Bowlin Stadium.
The press conference was moved from the Gordon Training Complex to the Bowlin press box, where approximately 20 media members stood elbow-to-elbow in a sight not previously seen at the stadium in mid-September.
There has never been a media gathering this big in Lincoln for an opportunity to ask questions about fall softball practices and the exhibition games scheduled to be played beginning Oct. 1.
Of course, Nebraska has never had a player with Bahl’s credentials suit up for the softball team. Her first two seasons of college ball were at Oklahoma, where she was the ace pitcher for the Sooners’ 2022 and 2023 national championship teams.
The Papillion-La Vista High graduate arrived in Lincoln in June via the transfer portal after deciding there was no place like home for her to continue her career.
With that pedigree come big expectations. Bahl is used to that after being a huge part of the dominant Sooners’ program that finished last season 61-1.
Nebraska’s profile increased exponentially when Bahl announced she was transferring to the Huskers. Revelle said the players and coaches are embracing the challenge, even as she embarks on her 32nd year leading the Huskers.
“I feel the same way (with) each one,” Revelle said. “That’s what’s really special about it. You still get the jitters. We can feel that we have talent, we can feel that we have depth. Now it’s our job as coaches and players to be committed to really do the work that’s required to be as good as we can be.”