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Bahl, Sooners Outduel Cardinal in WCWS Opener

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Oklahoma softball coach Patty Gasso knew full-well the type of talent her top-ranked, record-setting team would face in its opener at the Women’s College World Series.

“When I saw our matchup, I’m like, ‘OK. Oh, no. Let’s go. Let’s get the machine cranking up, Let’s grease it up, make sure it (our offensive firepower) is working. They can throw that hard,’ ” Gasso said, forcing a chuckle following the Sooners’ 2-0 survival over No. 9-seeded Stanford at USA Softball Complex on Thursday afternoon.

Coming in, the jaw-dropping stat line of Cardinal true freshman pitcher NiJaree Canady was simply impossible to ignore.

A 6-foot righthander from Topeka, Kan., Canady entered with a 16-1 record and a microscopic 0.48 ERA with an astonishing 193 strikeouts in just 116.1 innings of work. She had allowed just eight earned runs and 19 walks in 29 appearances.

Top-seeded OU countered with the nation’s most powerful offense and a formidable pitching force of its own in two-time First Team All-American sophomore righthander Jordy Bahl.

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