CHICAGO — In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Jordyn Bahl of Papillion-La Vista High School as its 2020-21 Gatorade Nebraska Softball Player of the Year. Bahl is the fourth Gatorade Nebraska Softball Player of the Year to be chosen from Papillion-La Vista High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Bahl as Nebraska’s best high school softball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Bahl joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Cat Osterman (2000-01, Cy Spring High School, Texas), Kelsey Stewart (2009-10, Arkansas City High School, Kan.), Carley Hoover (2012-13, D.W. Daniel High School, S.C.), Jenna Lilley (2012-13, Hoover High School, Ohio), Morgan Zerkle (2012-13, Cabell Midland High School, W. Va.), and Rachel Garcia (2014-15, Highland High School, Calif.).
The 5-foot-7 senior right-handed pitcher led the Monarchs (36-0) to a second consecutive perfect season and the Class A state championship this past season. The state’s returning Gatorade Softball Player of the Year, Bahl posted a 27-0 record with a 0.10 ERA. She surrendered just 27 hits and 15 walks in 137 innings pitched, while striking out 316 batters. Captain of both the Lincoln Journal Star Super-State team and the Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska team, Bahl batted .510 with 20 home runs and 55 RBI. A Premier Girls Fastpitch High-School All-American, she is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2021 by Extra Inning Softball.
A devoted member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Bahl has volunteered locally on behalf of Open Door Mission, a food bank, the Salvation Army and a softball program for physically challenged children.
“Jordyn Bahl is, hands down, the best player in the state right now and one of the best to have ever come out of Nebraska,” said Tom Horton, head coach at Papillion La-Vista South High. “She has absolute control of every aspect of the game.”
Bahl has maintained a weighted 4.37 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on scholarship at the University of Oklahoma this fall.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Two-time winner Bahl joins recent Gatorade Nebraska Softball Players of the Year Emma Kauf (2018-19, Lincoln Southwest High School), Courtney Wallace (2017-18, Papillion-La Vista High School), and Rylie Unzicker (2016-17, Millard South High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Bahl has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Bahl is also eligible to submit a 30-second video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $2.7 million across 1,117 organizations.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.