The Oklahoma Sooners softball team got its 48th straight win in speculator fashion, but coaches and players are giving God the glory for the feat.
Facing off against the Clemson Tigers May 27, the Sooners found themselves down 7-4 in the last inning, needing a win to advance to the Women’s College World Series for the 11th time in 12 seasons.
The Sooners were down to their last strike of the game, with fans beginning to anticipate an end of the historic win streak.
But then Oklahoma catcher Kinzie Hansen bombed a three-run homer to left field, tying the game 7-7. In extra innings, Oklahoma’s Tiare Jennings’ one-run homer proved to be the game-winner, bringing the Sooner’s record for the season to 56-1, including a record 48 straight wins.
Part of what makes the team remarkable is how players’ Christian faith impacts their relationships and attitudes.
“We’ve got a lot of great characters. There’s so many people who are seeking after the Lord,” infielder Grace Lyons said. “Many players on the team go to church together and attend optional chapels and team bible studies together.”
Lyons even baptized teammate Alyssa Brito, along with help from teammate Rylie Boone.
“WOW. what a day yesterday was!!!” Brito announced on Instagram after her baptistm. “I am UNASHAMED and so grateful to serve Christ. God brought me to OU for a bigger reason and it changed my life forever!!”
While the signature win against Clemson came on Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso’s birthday, her focus remained on the team’s incredible show of grit – and how God has blessed the team
“What better way to walk away than with something like this, just gritty, come-from-behind, hard-fought,” Gasso said in a postgame sideline interview with ESPN. “Just give all the credit to Clemson for just giving us this battle, and just all the glory to God for blessing this team and this staff tremendously.”
In an interview with Sports Spectrum, Gasso talked about her reluctance to be bold in her faith earlier in her career, but a wake-up call from the Lord shifted her mentality.
“The Lord kind of woke me up and was like, ‘You’re doing this wrong,” Gasso said. “You’re not here to win games. You’re here to open the door – here to win souls. You open the door and let them in. I’ll take over from there.’ And then everything changed.”
Gasso has led the Sooners to five national championships since 2013, including back-to-back championships in 2021-22. The veteran coach credits her players for using their platform to glorify God and boldly proclaim the gospel message.
“I’ve got some very brave athletes who stand on the biggest platform and are not afraid to share their faith,” Gasso said.
On Thursday, Oklahoma won its first game in the College World Series against Stanford, hoping for a college championship three-peat. The last team to accomplish the feat in Division-I women’s softball was UCLA in in the 1988-90 seasons.