Lynnsie Elam

Sooners Softball Captain Keeping Eyes Open and Heart Grateful

She has been a part of one NCAA title, three Big 12 regular season titles and two Big 12 championships. She brought a history of success from Chickasha – four district, three regional and two state high school championships.

Scanning the Sooner dugout, you might skip over her as you see other familiar faces. Lynnsie Elam has something none of them have, the captain’s C, and what she has done in that role in three years makes this program special.

Lynnsie arrived at OU in 2018 and saw limited action as a true freshman. She started 61 games in 2019, then her teammates elected her co-captain for 2020. By March 2020, Lynnsie and her Sooner team had packed up for the season, returning to their homes as COVID had shut down the season and life in general.

“We had played five weeks of the spring season and were just about to start Big 12 play,” Lynnsie said. “I spent a lot of time that spring trying to calm the storm because we were going through something none of us had faced. We had to do so much on our own because nothing was open. You had to be very creative, and we spent a lot of time sharing information as we got it. We did so much to stay connected, even though we weren’t in Norman.”

After five months, she and her Sooner team returned to Norman and began the process of defining a new normal. She was elected captain by her team once again. In addition to the familiar C on her jersey, Lynnsie had become a threat in the batter’s box. She hit a career-high .346 and set career bests in homers, slugging percentage, RBI and on-base percentage.

She and her Sooners rolled through the regular season into the Big 12 Championship to add another trophy. OU added the regional and super regional titles to qualify for the Women’s College World Series. OU lost its first game, then won four to advance to the championship final. The Sooners again lost the first game before taking the next two on the way to a fifth national title.

Through it all, the Sooner captain, who began catching as a young softball player, kept hearing her mom’s voice, telling her to lead by example and with her work ethic. She also heard former Sooners sharing their wisdom.

“This program has a culture that current leaders pass what they know to future leaders,” Lynnsie explained. “I was learning how to be a leader by following Kelsey (Arnold), Caleigh (Clifton) and Sydney (Romero). It’s a trickle-down process as we help each other and pass things along older to younger.”

The leadership role is important to Lynnsie, but she has a bigger purpose.

“We learned through COVID that we need to value every time we step on the field. I want to use it as my pedestal. We are so blessed to be able to play this game in this place. I want to share those gifts and where they come from with others. Keep my eyes open and my heart grateful. I am so conscious of what I have been given and am thankful for those gifts from God.

“Coach Gasso has a definite goal. She says we come in as girls and leave as women,” Lynnsie continues. “We value that so much because it is a very special focus. She is growing us as people.”

OU’s fifth-year senior leader has a clear path.

“It is important to me to take it day by day and have no regrets. I need to stay in the moment and keep getting better. That way, the process and the program continue to improve.”

When she no longer wears the captain’s C, the program will continue to excel, and she will leave as a true winner.

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