Bahl's 5-hitter helps No. 1 OU stifle Stanford in WCWS opener

Jordy Bahl made the most of an opportunity she missed last year.

The sophomore threw a five-hitter with 11 strikeouts to help two-time defending national champion Oklahoma defeat Stanford 2-0 Thursday in its Women's College World Series opener.

Bahl was Oklahoma's ace last season, but an arm injury late in the season left her with a reduced role at the World Series. This year, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association first-team All-American was healthy and ready to go.

"Jordy was absolutely on her game," Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso said. "She was just a boss today. It was really fun to watch that, especially not getting the opportunity she wanted last year and just making the most of it from day one."

Bahl outlasted Stanford pitcher NiJaree Canady, the nation's leader in ERA and the NFCA freshman of the year. Canady gave up just four hits and one earned run in five innings while regularly throwing 75 mph against an Oklahoma team that leads the nation in scoring and batting average.

"We knew what we were running into in the way of NiJa, and she has become one of the hardest-throwing, ball-moving freshmen I've ever seen," Gasso said. "So I feel like we got a really tough, tough matchup. Their pitching staff is really good."

Jayda Coleman's RBI single in the fifth provided all the offense Oklahoma needed.

No. 1 seed Oklahoma (57-1) extended its Division I record win streak to 49 games and advanced to play No. 4 seed Tennessee (50-8) on Saturday. The winner reaches the semifinals in the double-elimination bracket.

No. 9 seed Stanford (45-14) will play No. 5 seed Alabama (45-21) in an elimination game Friday.

Oklahoma's Haley Lee sent a Canady pitch to the warning track in the fourth, but Stanford left fielder Ellee Eck snagged the hard shot to end the inning.

Stanford got two on with one out in the fifth against Bahl but could not score.

"Those are honestly the situations you kind of like to be in as a pitcher at times because, when teams press you like that, it makes you be your best, and you can't take a pitch off, and it's a good test," Bahl said. "So those moments are kind of fun, even though they're really high stress at times."

With two on and two outs in the fifth, Coleman singled to left field to knock in a run. An error on Eck for letting the ball bounce off her glove allowed the other runner to score and put the Sooners up 2-0.

"I think she saw a good pitch and hit it, honestly," Canady said. "All I can do is throw each pitch to the best of my abilities. Yeah, I think she just saw the pitch."

Tennessee 10, Alabama 5: Rylie West hit a three-run homer, Jamison Brockenbrough and Katie Taylor had two hits and Kiki Milloy scored twice for the Lady Vols (50-8). Tennessee's Ashley Rogers, a first-team National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American, gave up two runs in four innings to improve to 19-1 this season.

Jenna Johnson and Kenleigh Cahalan each had two hits and Marlie Giles hit a solo homer for Alabama (45-21). Jaala Torrence gave up six runs -- two earned -- in 2⅓ innings for the Crimson Tide. Alabama's Ashley Prange committed three errors that led to four unearned runs. She had six errors all season combined before Thursday.

Tennessee opened the scoring in the second when Taylor doubled to knock in two. Milloy, the nation's home run leader, was intentionally walked, then Zaida Puni doubled to score Taylor and Milloy and push the Lady Vols' lead to 4-0.

"Whenever they intentionally walk me, I'm like, 'I don't know if that's the best move because Zaida is going to come up,'" Milloy said. "Every time they walk me, I feel like she's done something to manufacture a run."

Alabama will play in an elimination game Friday against Stanford. Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said Montana Fouts, the World Series veteran who got both wins in super regionals against Northwestern while nursing a hyperextended left knee, will be ready.

"This probably is the way it's been written for this team, to make it the hard way," Murphy said. "We have to play better defense. We have to get a good start from the starter. Then obviously the third thing is to key hit, and we need to do that early."

Florida State 8, Oklahoma State 0: Kathryn Sandercock threw five scoreless innings, Kaley Mudge hit a three-run homer and No. 3 seed Florida State defeated No. 6 seed Oklahoma State in a game that started late because of lightning and was delayed another two hours in the third inning for lightning and rain. It was reminiscent of the previous World Series game between the teams in 2021 that ended at 2:20 a.m. local time because a rain delay pushed back the start time. Sandercock got the win in that game, too. This time, she gave up four hits and struck out four.

Oklahoma State's Kelly Maxwell, who like Sandercock was a National Fastpitch Coaches Association second-team All-American, started and threw two innings. She gave up one hit and two runs for the Cowgirls (46-15).

Michaela Edenfield's two-run blast in the first off Maxwell gave Florida State (56-9) a 2-0 lead. Mudge's shot in the fourth after the delay made it 7-0, and the Seminoles closed it out in the sixth.

Utah-Washington postponed by rain: Thursday's late game has been postponed until Friday at 1 p.m. ET due to wet weather.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.