Oklahoma senior softball player Shannon Saile saw her season get cut short due to the coronavirus outbreak that canceled NCAA spring sports, among a myriad of other events. A day before the cancellations, though, Saile gave her life to God and was baptized by teammate Grace Lyons and head coach Patty Gasso’s husband, Jim.
“Last night I got baptized,” she posted on Twitter on Thursday. “God is good. In times like this, I will keep my faith and trust in my Lord.”
Last night I got baptized. God is good. In times like this, I will keep my faith and trust in my Lord. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/au9lxjCMsS
— Shannon Saile (@shannieflame) March 12, 2020
Saile, a pitcher, was primed for a big senior year after being named an All-Big 12 second-team selection in 2019. As a junior, she ranked second nationally in hits allowed per seven innings (3.56) and strikeouts per seven innings (11.2).
She transferred to Oklahoma after playing two seasons at Florida International, where she was an All-Conference USA first-team selection in 2017 and 2018, and was named 2017 Conference USA Freshman of the Year.
That’s when her journey toward baptism really began.
“When I was deciding that I wanted to enter the transfer portal about a year and half ago, I was in a really dark place full of anxieties and I looked to Jesus for the answers,” Saile told Sports Spectrum. “He led me to Oklahoma.”
Saile said the team collectively has a strong faith and she credited teammates Shay Knighten and Falepolima Aviu as people she looked to with their relationship in God during her junior season. Then it was a message during a Sunday chapel at the field that ultimately led her to get baptized.
The sports world is just one arena that’s been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The NCAA is reportedly working on granting an extra year of eligibility for spring sports athletes.
Whether that happens or not, Saile said her hope will remain in Christ.
“There’s much more to life than just softball,” she said. “Softball doesn’t define me. I will keep my faith regardless of the cards we are dealt. I have faith I didn’t play my last softball game this past weekend. I hope through Jesus to remain a light in people’s lives through this pandemic.”
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