Seven Players from Bedlam Rivalry in USA Softball’s Top 25 Finalists
USA Softball announced its list of Top 25 finalists for Collegiate Player of the Year this week, and it includes seven stars from the respective Bedlam schools. Oklahoma pitching trio of Jordy Bahl, Nicole May and Alex Storako, center fielder Jayda Coleman and second baseman Tiare Jennings, and Oklahoma State pitcher Kelly Maxwell and second baseman Rachel Becker all got the nod.
Last year’s NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year, Bahl has the distinction on a loaded pitching staff of having surrendered the only loss. She’s obviously still been magnificent, posting a 12-1 record with a 1.27 ERA and team-high 107 strikeouts to only 26 walks. Bahl tossed her second career perfect game against Southeastern Louisiana back in early March and is limiting opponents to a .158 batting average.
May owns the club’s best ERA, with a 0.51. She has allowed only five earned runs all season, seven total. May has fanned 103 batters to 22 walks, while opponents are mustering only a .149 batting average against her.
Storako has been fantastic to the tune of a sub-1.00 ERA with 85 strikeouts to only eight walks. In fact, she’s sitting at a 0.80 ERA with a 13-0 record, while opponents are hitting only .134 off of her. Storako has dealt four complete games, including a no-hitter against Kentucky last month. She’s permitted only 32 hits and 10 runs, eight earned, all season, just ridiculous numbers against some of the nation’s best competition.
Coleman leads the Sooners in a number of statistical categories, including batting average (.477), hits (51), runs scored (47), walks (30) and stolen bases (12-of-12). She’s clubbed 11 home runs and recorded 10 doubles, with 32 RBI. Coleman is the igniter for an extremely explosive lineup, and she’s been fantastic in that regard.
Jennings has taken off in a massive way in recent days. She’s up to 10 homers and a team-high 43 RBI. Jennings is hitting .436 with nine doubles, 36 runs scored and 87 total bases. The junior from San Pedro, Calif., is slugging .791 with a .500 on-base percentage.
Maxwell is battling a blister on her throwing hand right now, but she’s been incredible once again this spring. The veteran is 13-1 with a 1.43 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. She’s racked up 162 strikeouts to 52 walks, and opponents are hitting only .137 off her. She’s also got five saves to her credit.
Starring in her new digs since transferring from Purdue, Becker is hitting just shy of .500 with 22 RBI and 49 runs scored this season. Becker has walked 37 times en route to posting an on-base percentage north of .600. She has a 1.341 OPS and has also added nine stolen bases to her tally.
These seven and the rest of the Top 25 Finalists will be narrowed down to 10 athletes on May 3. Later, a group of Top 3 Finalists will be released on May 17. The 2023 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed prior to the Women’s College World Series, which is slated for June 1-9 at the Softball Capital of the World in Oklahoma City.