The University of Oklahoma women’s softball team has made headlines and surprised many with their remarkable victory in the national championship, but it’s their unwavering Christian faith that has captivated the nation. Throughout their journey to victory, the team’s players have consistently attributed their motivation, joy, and resilience to their belief in God.
At a press conference after their win, ESPN reporters questioned the team about the unique pressure they faced as favorites throughout the season. Grace Lyons, an infielder, eloquently responded, “The only way that you can have a joy that doesn’t fade away is from the Lord.” She emphasized that regardless of success or failure, the joy that stems from their faith enables them to cherish the memories, moments, and friendships created through the game.
“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,” Lyons said. “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, a utility player, shared her experience of winning the championship in her freshman year but feeling a lack of fulfillment. It was through finding Christ that she discovered true joy and understood that softball is not the ultimate purpose of her life. Coleman expressed the team’s strength lies in their fearlessness of losing, for their ultimate fulfillment is found in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
“1000% agree with Grace Lyons,” said utility player Jayda Coleman.
“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,” Coleman said.
Alyssa Brito, another utility player, explained the team’s focus on a gesture they call “eyes up,” signifying their commitment to fix their gaze upon Christ. They believe that true fulfillment cannot be found in the outcome of the game, whether it be favorable or not. Brito emphasized that their love for each other and the game stems from their desire to glorify God, viewing softball as an opportunity to showcase their faith.
“We’re really like, fixing our eyes on Christ,” she said.
“You can’t find fulfillment in an outcome, whether it’s good or bad,” Brito said. “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.”
The transformation brought about by their faith is evident in the players’ perspectives on life and the game. Brito shared how her outlook changed once she turned to Jesus, realizing the purpose she had to live for and the importance of exemplifying the kingdom of God. This newfound understanding has brought them freedom and a steady mindset, enabling them to approach the game with resilience and gratitude.
“I think that brings so much freedom,” she said.
“We have an eternity of joy with our Father, and I’m so excited about that,” she said. “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.”
These girls are amazing!! So much wisdom. This is worth watching in full. Beautiful! 🙏🏻 ❤️ https://t.co/wqPnsq84TS
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) June 10, 2023