NORMAN — Oklahoma softball collected or earned a share of four of the five Big 12 yearly awards and placed eight across the All-Big 12 first and second teams, including a league-best seven on the first team. The conference recently announced the honors.
Junior Jayda Coleman was named Big 12 Player of the Year, while sophomore Jordy Bahl was named Pitcher of the Year and super senior shortstop Grace Lyons earned her third consecutive Defensive Player of the Year award. OU head coach Patty Gasso was named Co-Coach of the Year, sharing the honor with Baylor head coach Glenn Moore. It marks Gasso’s 11th straight Big 12 Coach of the Year honor.
Coleman collects OU’s 16th Big 12 Player of the Year award, including fourth consecutive and seventh in the last eight seasons.
Coleman’s grandmother, Lyndia Turner Day, is a 1967 Sallisaw High School graduate who lives in Comfort, Texas. Coleman, the daughter of Cedric and Deana Coleman, finished her high school education at The Colony High School in The Colony, Texas, just north of Dallas.
The highlight reel centerfielder has started every game for No. 1 OU and led the team throughout the season in batting, on-base and slugging percentages, as well as hits and home runs. She has consistently ranked in the top 10 in the country in batting, on-base and slugging percentages. The speedster has stolen a team-high 14 bases on 14 attempts and been exceptional again in center field for OU with a 1.000 FLD%. Coleman led the conference in on-base and slugging percentages, runs per game and total bases.
In 2020 Coleman was named the National Gatorade Player of the Year.
Bahl earned her second straight Big 12 Pitcher of the Year honor, winning the award outright in 2023 after sharing the accolade a season ago. The honor is OU’s ninth in school annals.
Bahl has followed an All-America and National Freshman of the Year season with an equally as dominant sophomore campaign, holding a 1.19 ERA that ranks in the top 10 in the country with six individual shutouts, one perfect game and two combined no-hitters. The Papillion, Neb., product is 15-1 in the circle and has allowed just 10 extra-base hits in 2023. Bahl has 138 strikeouts to just 32 walks and 18 earned runs, while opponents are batting just .159 against the sophomore. In conference play, Bahl led the league in wins (7-0) while holding a 0.70 ERA and allowing just four runs. She joins the elite company of Texas’ Cat Osterman and OU alum Paige Parker in winning Pitcher of the Year accolades in their freshman and sophomore seasons.
OU’s defensive anchor, Lyons, wins her third consecutive Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year award and OU’s fifth in the last six years. Lyons becomes the first player in conference history to win three DPOY honors.
The Peoria, Ariz., product and twotime All-American has yet again been exceptional in the field for the nation’s best defense with 42 putouts and 59 assists to just three errors for a .983 fielding percentage. The middle infielder has helped turn nine double plays. At the plate, Lyons is batting .351 with six home runs, six doubles, a triple with 26 RBIs.
The NFCA Hall of Fame head coach, Gasso, wins an unprecedented 11th consecutive Big 12 Coach of the Year award and 15th overall in her 29 seasons at the helm in Norman.
Gasso has guided the top-ranked Sooners to a program-best 49-1 regular season record in 2022 and 11th consecutive Big 12 regular season title. The Sooners are on a program recordtying 41 game win streak, good for second all-time in NCAA history, while the team has outscored opponents 40843 on the year and 124-17 in conference play.
Of the 12 student-athletes that made up the All-Big 12 First Team, seven of the selections are Sooners. The seven choices are the most by a team under the Big 12’s 12-member format that started in 2013.
OU’s league-best seven selections are a program best and outpaces the nexthighest school by five. Claiming First Team honors was Coleman, Bahl, Lyons, redshirt senior Haley Lee, senior Kinzie Hansen and juniors Tiare Jennings and Nicole May. Bahl, Coleman and Jennings were unanimous choices.
Redshirt senior Alex Storako brought OU’s All-Big 12 total to eight with a selection to the All-Big 12 Second Team.
Coleman, Jennings and Lyons all earn their third First Team nod while Bahl collects her second in as many years. Hansen, May, Lee and Storako all garnered their first All-Big 12 honors of their respective careers.
The top-seeded Sooners open the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship on Friday in Oklahoma City at 1 p.m. CT on ESPNU versus the winner of Thursday’s Baylor vs. Iowa State game. The conference title game is slated for 2 p.m. on Saturday and can be seen on ESPN2.
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