Summer 2024

Oklahoma Sooners softball player Eliyah Flores gets baptized at team facility

It’s almost softball season in Oklahoma as the Lady Sooners get ready for their 2018 season. The defending national champions open up their season on Friday, February 9 in Phoenix as part of the Grand Canyon University kickoff tournament.

One of the newest members of the Sooners is freshman infielder Eliyah Flores, who is also a member of the Mexican national team. Flores, a native of Colton, Calif., was one of the top high school players in the country in 2017, being named MVP of the Sunkist League and named All-Sun Player of the Year as a senior after hitting .494 with 11 doubles, three triples, eight home runs, 31 RBI and 43 runs scored.

Eliyah is also a believer in Jesus Christ, and a few weeks ago, she reached out to team chaplain Janie Reed and volunteer assistant coach Andrea Gasso, asking if they could help facilitate a time for Flores to get baptized, something she wanted to do before the season started.

Only one problem: The pool that many of the Oklahoma players get baptized in was not available.

“In the past, girls have gotten baptized at head coach Patty Gassoโ€™s house at the end of the season or during the summer, so Eliyah wanted to get baptized there,” Reed told Sports Spectrum. “On Saturday after practice, she went up to Coach and asked if she could get baptized in her pool. One little problem โ€” the pool was drained and covered for the winter. So we had to come together and improvise. We finally ended up asking our athletic trainer if we could use the underwater treadmill pool in the treatment center and she said yes.”

So in front of teammates and coaches, Flores was baptized by Reed and Gasso on Sunday morning at the Oklahoma team facility.

“You could feel the Holy Spirit enter the room,” Reed said. “Through the glass walls, you could see OU athletes getting treatment, curious as to what was going on in the pool area. It was so cool.”

After being baptized, Flores and the rest of the people present worshiped and praised God as the song “Death Was Arrested” by North Point Inside Out played in the background.

“When I led Eliyah into the water and brought her up, she was in tears just filled with joy,” Reed told us. “It looked as if a burden had been lifted off her shoulders. I gave her a huge hug and then looked up at the other players gathered around the pool, and everyone was in tears. It was one of the coolest baptisms Iโ€™ve ever been a part of. Everyone just wept with gladness and joy.”

Praise God for this beautiful display of faith in Christ by Eliyah Flores and best wishes to her and the entire Oklahoma softball team this season.

“Having been buried with him in baptism,ย in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.” – Colossians 2:12

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