Summer 2024

Indiana Wesleyan softball team hosts worship night at NAIA World Series: 'God won!'

The Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion, Indiana) softball team may have come up short of winning a national championship, but took full advantage of the experience by turning the NAIA World Series into an evangelism tool.

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On Friday, the sixth-seeded Wildcats opened with a 3-1 victory over No. 3 Freed-Hardeman University (Henderson, Tennessee), before losing to No. 2 Oklahoma City, 6-1, on Saturday afternoon. That night, however, was one in which the team had “prayed for since the beginning of the season,” according to a news release on the IWU website.

The Indiana Wesleyan team invited the other nine World Series participants to a worship night.

After praise and worship, and a time for coaches and players to share what God had been teaching them, Wesleyan pitcher Reagen Radke shared her testimony with those in attendance. Radke was then baptized by head coach Steve Babinski.

When Babinski asked if anyone else wanted to be baptized, another Wildcat, Amanda Cope, immediately jumped at the opportunity. A coach and 16 players were baptized by the end of the night. In addition to the baptisms, multiple people were introduced to God for the first time at the gathering.

On Monday, IWU’s season came to an end with a 4-2 loss to Southeastern University (Lakeland, Florida). Babinski, however, was not feeling defeated.

“The scoreboard didn’t decide the true victor today,” he said after the game. “God won! He has been winning all week. In the last 48 hours, three people became Christians, and 22 people got baptized! God has shown so much favor on us this year because He wanted to show up through IWU Softball at the World Series and change lives. I am so proud of my girls. Their heart, their grind, their fight, how selfless and servant leading they are. I’m such a proud coach!”

This was the Wildcats’ second consecutive appearance at the World Series and fourth in program history. The win in their opening game Friday advanced them to the World Series winner’s bracket for the first time.

Wesleyan finished 54-10 overall and won the Crossroads League by three games with a 31-5 record in conference play.

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