The Oklahoma Sooners Women’s Softball team boldly displayed their Christian faith when they told ESPN that God played a vital role in the team’s historic season.
The Sooners won the NCAA Division One National Championship after beating Florida State to cap off one of the greatest single seasons in the history of college athletics. The team boasted a 61-1 record over the season and finished the year on a 53-game winning streak.
Even after all of that on-field success, the team never wavered in their faith, as they said in response to this question by an ESPN reporter. “You talked about keeping the joy of the game, but I’m curious, it’s a long season, right? And you guys have had the target on your back the entire time. How do you handle the unique pressure that comes with that? How do you keep the joy for so long when anxiety seems like a thing that could very easily set in?”
— Florida Grand (@florida_grand) June 8, 2023
Infielder Grace Lyons then took her turn to say exactly what drove this team to continue playing with confidence and joy. “Well, the only way that you can have joy that doesn’t fade away is from the Lord. Thankfully we’ve had a lot of success this year, but if it was the other way around, joy from the Lord is the only thing that can keep you embracing those memories, moments, friendships.”
She continued, describing that the only way to maintain a positive outlook in a sport like softball is to stay strong in your faith. “That’s really the only answer to that because there’s no other way that softball can bring you that because of how much failure comes in it and just how much of a rollercoaster the game can be.”
Jayda Coleman then took a turn on the mic, explaining that even during the best times, success tastes so much sweeter when you achieve it with God in your heart. She said, “1000% agree with Grace Lyons… (after winning the national championship my freshman year,) I didn’t know what to do the next day. I didn’t feel filled, and I had to find Christ in that.”
She added that winning is never all that matters when one loves the Lord. “Yes obviously we’ve worked our butts off to be here, and we want to win, but it’s not the end of the world because our life is in Christ, and that’s all that matters.”
Lastly, Alyssa Brito brought it home, saying, “We have an eternity of joy with our Father, and I’m so excited about that. Yes, I live in the moment, but I know this isn’t my home, and no matter what, my sisters in Christ will be there with me in the end when we’re with our king.”