Oklahoma Women’s College World Series champions say they find their joy in Christ

OU Women's Softball University of Oklahoma's Women's Softball Team after winning the 2023 Women's College World Series. | OU Athletics

The University of Oklahoma’s women’s softball team made history June 8 by becoming the second team to ever win three national titles in a row when they defeated Florida State 3-1 in the Women’s College World Series at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.

Head Coach Patty Gasso and several of the players are devoted Christians who boldly praise God and share their faith. Gasso has shared that she credits God in shifting her mindset from focusing on winning games to instead focusing on winning souls.

During a press conference on June 6 ahead of the three-game series against Florida State, several of the OU softball players told journalists that their joy is found in Christ.

Team captain Grace Lyons was asked by an ESPN reporter how the women handle pressure and maintain their joy.

She 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.”

“Joy from the Lord is really the only thing that can keep you motivated — just in a good mindset no matter the outcomes,” she added. 

Teammate Jayda Coleman said she agreed “1,000%” and shared how after winning the Women’s College World Series her freshman year she was happy but didn’t feel joy.

“I didn’t know what to do the next day. I didn’t know what to do that following week. I didn’t feel fulfilled and I had to find Christ,” Coleman said. 

She continued: “I think that is what makes our team so strong is that we’re not afraid to lose because it’s not the end of the world if we do lose — 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.”

Infielder Alyssa Brito explained the team’s “eye’s up” gesture they can be seen doing during games, which, she said, is the team’s way of “fixing our eyes on Christ.”

“You can’t find fulfillment in an outcome, whether it’s good or bad. And I think that’s why we’re so steady in what we do, and our love for each other, and our love for the game, because we know this game is giving us the opportunity to glorify God,” she added.

Brito was baptized in 2022 by two of her fellow teammates and said that once she turned to Jesus, and had her outlook on life changed by her relationship with Christ, she understood that she was living to “exemplify the Kingdom.”

“No matter the outcome, whether we get a trophy or not, this isn’t our home and I think that’s what’s amazing about it — we have so much more. We have an eternity of joy with our Father,” she said.

“No matter what, my sisters in Christ will be there with me in the end when we’re with our king,” Brito concluded.

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