BY Johnathan Jones, The Western JournalJune 9, 2023
1 year ago
BY 
 | June 9, 2023
1 year ago

Entire Oklahoma Team Glorifies God Live on ESPN After Historic National Championship Win

Oklahoma softball capped off a historic, record-breaking season on Thursday night, and the players gave all the glory to God on national television.

In a 3-1 victory, the Sooners swept Florida State in a best-of-three series to win the their third straight national title live on ESPN.

Oklahoma ended its one-loss season on a 53-game win streak, which is good enough for the winningest season in NCAA history.

The team has won six championships in the last 10 seasons while head coach Patty Gasso has won seven titles in total at the helm of the program since the year 2000.

But there was something extra special about this yearโ€™s team, which went 61-1 and took a lot of flak from critics for its attitude.

The ladies spent the season celebrating walks with the same enthusiasm as home runsย -- of which there were plenty. Given their on-field dominance, those celebrations from this Sooners team always felt justified.

But after Oklahoma beat up its conference rivals in the regular season and run-ruled others out of the park in the 2023 WCWS, the players always ended each game with a humble prayer.

On the biggest stage on ESPN Thursday and after its grittiest victory to date, the team didnโ€™t flinch in regard to showing where its priorities were.

The Sooners and the Seminoles came together for a prayer that ESPN cameras caught some of:

Sophomore pitcher Jordy Bahl was asked later about being named this yearโ€™s WCWS most outstanding player after the game.

Bahl passed on taking a personal victory lap and instead credited God.

โ€œIt doesnโ€™t matter how it really ends because all of the efforts and the glory is given to the Lord all the same,โ€ she said. โ€œIโ€™m speaking on behalf of our entire team. We all feel that same exact way.โ€

Later, catcher Kinzie Hansen was asked how she is able to constantly deliver, given the sky-high expectations of her and the rest of the team.

โ€œI know I have Jesus on my side,โ€ she said. โ€œAll of us do.โ€

Gasso, a vocal Christian, has put together an amazing program with a talented roster that is made up of women who put Christ first and let everything else fall into place where it may.

Just look at how three Oklahoma players addressed the media earlier this week when they were asked about facing a talented team in Florida State:

Shortstop Grace Lyons was asked by ESPN on June 6 how the team remained joyful and anxiety-free with a target on its back.

Lyons responded, โ€œThe only way that you can have a joy that doesnโ€™t fade away is from the Lord. Any other type of joy is actually happiness that comes from circumstances and outcomes.โ€

These ladies arenโ€™t just winners on the field, nor can they be defined simply by their penchant for breaking records or for being fun to watch.

This historic Sooners team is made up of extraordinary young women who each witness for Christ at every opportunity.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Johnathan Jones, The Western Journal

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