Oklahoma softball winning streak ends, team celebrates baptism of pitcher Kierston Deal

The culture of winning and faith that’s been established in the Oklahoma softball program under head coach Patty Gasso was perhaps never more on display than this past weekend in Norman.

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The Sooners entered their first weekend at home this season already 14-0, still ranked No. 1 in the country and preparing for a run at a fourth consecutive national title. What’s more, the program was celebrating the opening of its brand-new stadium, Love’s Field, the biggest on-campus softball facility in the country with a capacity of 4,200.

Oklahoma’s first four games at the new stadium went pretty much according to plan, with 9-7, 8-0, 8-0 and 15-3 victories. That extended the program’s winning streak to an incredible 71 games in a row, which dated back to Feb. 19, 2023. It is the longest winning streak in Division-I softball history. The 71-game streak saw Oklahoma outscore its opponents 578-72, pitch 40 shutouts, and pick up 28 ranked wins.

But on Sunday afternoon, in the final game of the celebratory home-opening weekend, Louisiana (10-12) shocked the Sooners in eight innings, 7-5. Yet, this is where that second part of Oklahoma softball culture โ€”faith โ€” came into play.

Shortly after the loss to Louisiana, about 20 Sooners players were at a swimming pool watching teammate Kierston Deal undergo the sacrament of baptism as an outward act of the saving work God has accomplished in her life. She’s the latest of many OU softball players who have been baptized in the presence of their teammates.

Team chaplain Sarah Roberts posted photos of Deal’s baptism on social media and wrote, “On a day they could have been crushed by the loss of a game … Jesus Won!”

Many Oklahoma players and coaches through the years have spoken often about their identities being found ultimately in Christ, not in wins or losses on a softball field. On Sunday, they had the opportunity to celebrate Jesus’ victory over sin and death in Deal’s life, something far more important than a win on the scoreboard.

Baptizing Deal were teammates Alyssa Brito and Rylie Boone, both of whom are spiritual leaders in the Sooners’ dugout. Brito and Boone have also both appeared on the Sports Spectrum Podcast to talk about their faith in Christ, and were featured in the Spring 2023 edition of Sports Spectrum Magazine.

Brito posted on Instagram following Deal’s baptism, captioning the post with praise to God in the form of a prayer.

“What it’s actually about,” she wrote. “God, Your timing is good. You have a beautiful and perfect way of writing Your story. Thank you for a gentle reminder today, that we rejoice and we PRAISE You, not this world.

“What is seen as loss in this world God, You ground us in Your truth. Truth that You already won. Victory is WON. Won when You sent Your Son to die for us on the cross. Paying the ultimate debt and sacrifice for us. Breaking the barrier of sin between Your children and You, Father. We don’t deserve this borrowed breath God, yet today and everyday we thank You for waking us up and filling us with a purpose for Your Kingdom.

“Today there’s a party in Heaven!!!!! Thank you God for the sisterhood of OU Softball and these amazing women.”


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A post shared by Alyssa Brito (@alyssa.brito)

Deal is a sophomore who has appeared in five games as a pitcher this season. She’s started four of them and pitched 18.2 innings with a 1.12 ERA. She also posted on her Instagram story about this momentous day in her life, writing in part that, “All we need is him” and “He is good all the time.”

Oklahoma will take the field next at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday against Texas A&M Commerce at Love’s Field, looking to start a fresh winning streak. Yet even if they don’t, Deal and many of her Sooner teammates know that the true and lasting victory has already been won by Christ on the cross.

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