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Oklahoma Softball Players: ‘Our Life Is in Christ, and That’s All That Matters’

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Screenshots from Twitter / @VirgilWalkerOMA

Editor’s note: After this article was published, the Oklahoma women’s softball team defeated Florida State 3-1 in Game 2 of the College World Series to become national champions for the third straight year.

If the Oklahoma women’s softball team wins game 2 of the College World Series tonight (June 8) against Florida State, they will have completed a historic three-peat. But despite the team’s dominance and a 52-game winning streak, on-field victories aren’t the priority for the Oklahoma softball players or their coach.

Several Sooners are devoted Christians who boldly share their faith. They’re following the example of head coach Patty Gasso, who regularly glorifies God for his many blessings. Grasso credits God with changing her mindset years ago, shifting the focus from winning softball games to winning souls. “You open the door and let them in; I’ll take over from there,” was God’s message to her.

Oklahoma Softball Players Find Joy in Christ

During a June 6 press conference ahead of the best-of-three national championship, three Oklahoma softball players told journalists that Christ is their source of joy and freedom.

When an ESPN reporter asked how the women handle pressure and maintain their joy, team captain Grace Lyons responded, “The only way that you can have a joy that doesn’t fade away is from the Lord. Any other type of joy is actually happiness that comes from circumstances and outcomes.”

God-given joy isn’t dependent on on-field success, Lyons added, noting that the game of softball can be a rollercoaster. “Joy from the Lord is really the only thing that can keep you motivated [and] in a good mindset, no matter the outcomes,” she said.

Teammate Jayda Coleman said she agreed “1000%,” describing how she felt unfulfilled after the team’s first championship because she “had to find Christ.” Not being afraid to lose is “what makes our team so strong,” she said. “We wanna win, but it’s not the end of the world [if we lose] because our life is in Christ, and that’s all that matters.”

Infielder Alyssa Brito explained the team’s “Eye’s Up” strategy, in which players point upward to indicate they’re “really fixing our eyes on Christ.” Brito, who was baptized last year by two teammates, said, “We know this game is giving us opportunities to glorify God. Once we figured that out…it’s really changed so much for us.”

Brito said when Jesus changed her outlook on life, that brought her much freedom and joy. Whether the season ends with a championship or not, she said, “This isn’t our home. … We have so much more. We have an eternity of joy with our Father, and I’m so excited about that.” Brito concluded, “No matter what, my sisters in Christ will be there with me in the end, when we’re with our King.”

Christian Faith Unites Sooners Softball Team

In a recent edition of Sports Spectrum magazine, four Oklahoma softball players talked about the team’s Christian unity. Several of them attend church and chapel together and participate in team Bible studies. Some have even gotten baptized together.