For OU's Team Captain, A Devastating Tragedy Unlocks A Devoted Testimony

Wednesday, May 25th 2022, 8:58 pm
By: News 9

NORMAN, Oklahoma -

It's the talk of the sports world, the University of Oklahoma softball team's historic chase for a second-straight national title.

News 9's Robin Marsh has your all-access pass to the Sooners this season. Our Oklahoma's Own Originals series, 'Chasing A Championship' continues with the team captain's story of loss and redeeming love -- molding a champion on the field and beyond.

The trust that comes with being the team captain of the No. 1 softball team in the country doesn't come lightly for Lynnsie Elam.

"That just means our team voted me to be our captain. I am so honored by that and the fact that they had that much respect for me to vote to wear that it just means being consistent for them," Elam said.

"It definitely doesn't mean I am the only leader on this team."

The first baseman, catcher and slugger gets high praise from OU head coach Patty Gasso, too.

"If you ever wanted your son to marry the perfect woman, it's Lynnsie Elam. She's got it all: wonderful heart, strong faith, hard-working, a good leader, cares about others, fun to be around, very responsible. I mean, I could go on without question," Gasso said. "She's the leader of the team and probably the best, if not one of the best leaders I've had over the 28 years I've been here."

An Oklahoma girl from Chickasha, Elam was on Gasso's radar while she was still in high school. As a freshman, she committed to Gasso and the Sooners. Elam's future was set.

Or so she thought.

"I can definitely remember that day like it was yesterday," Elam said.

Two months after the offer from OU, the unthinkable happened.

The unthinkable happened Feb. 6, 2014.

"We were actually out of school because it was snowy and icy. The day before, my mom had closed on a new home in Chickasha. So, we were at the new house, me and my brothers, my two brothers," Elam said.

Her mother never made it home from work.

Medics believe that 43-year-old Carla Elam suffered some kind of heart issue behind the wheel, killing her in a single-car crash along Interstate 44 on the south side of the Oklahoma City metro.

At just 15 years-old, Lynnsie Elam lost her mom, her best friend and her softball coach.

"She's in heaven right now, so that's the best seat anybody could have," Elam said. "But I know she is with me because I know that God would not have done that for no reason. There is definitely a reason for His plan, His will."

One of the first people to reach out to Elam was Coach Gasso.

"She gave me a lot of peace during that time," Elam said. "I struggled a lot in softball after that, just performing and being worried, thinking I was going to lose my scholarship."

"But she just kept reassuring me over and over and over."

Lynnsie Elam had a decision to make about moving forward.

"It would have been easy to have kind of let it just completely take me down, but I also know that she would have been very mad at me if I would have done that. So, I just kind of made the decision to try and figure a way to keep surviving and keep pushing through until it ultimately came to find this great relationship with God, and that is ultimately gave me peace about the whole situation," she said.

Lynnsie always keeps God's word close by as a reminder.

"Absolutely. My scripture right here I have it on my wrist, Philippians 4:6-7," Elam said. "So that verse, I really clung to it and it just reminded me that in any situation, just to not worry and present those worries to God -- and that He will give me peace. He absolutely did give me peace over that."

Lynnsie recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma. She is loving living in these final moments as a Sooners star.

"I mean, I just feel very free, and I definitely give that back to God because that is the one thing that I have been praying so much for is just to have no regrets," Elam said. "Whether I'm succeeding or failing or whatever is happening, just to feel free."

Elam is up for several NCAA awards. She hopes to one day open her own sports facility and teach young girls about softball.