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One of the top players in collegiate softball, Sooners star Tiare Jennings has made a tremendous impact on the field since arriving in Norman. One of the top-ranked recruits in her class, Jennings finished her first year with the Sooners by starting in all 60 games and hitting .462 with 27 home runs. After her monstrous freshman campaign, Jenning has helped lead the Sooners to yet another incredible year throughout her sophomore season, where she has Oklahoma ready for the upcoming tournament. As she readies for the chance to put her skills on display, she does so with the ambition of playing for something bigger than herself.

Photo Courtesy of Oklahoma Athletics
A native of California, Tiare’s parents always made it a priority to have faith come first for Tiare and her family. After arriving in Oklahoma, however, Tiare has seen her journey continue to grow as her faith has become more a part of her than ever before.

“My faith has always been a part of my life since I was born. It wasn’t until college that God brought me closer to him and I started to have a relationship with him.”

Surrounded by teammates and mentors that have helped Tiare along her journey, she hopes to give back to those around her throughout her career with the Sooners. As Tiare takes the field for Oklahoma, she says her faith helps guide her every step of the way. No matter the circumstances, it helps remind her of her worth and what is most important.

“Faith plays a role in my softball career because I can use my platform to spread God’s word. It has given be the opportunity to play for something bigger than myself.”

Tiare says that knowing God’s love for her regardless of the scoresheet gives her confidence and comfort every day.

“God reminds me that every time I step onto the field, it doesn’t define me as a person. My performance doesn’t make God love me any more or any less. So knowing that I play freer.”

Photo Courtesy of Oklahoma Athletics
As one of the top players in the game and still only a sophomore for the Sooners, Tiare has already seen her platform grow throughout her time in collegiate softball. As she has softball fans around the country watching her as she nears the chance to play for a championship, Tiare says she hopes she can use her platform for a cause greater than herself.

“The biggest impact that I hope to use my platform is to tell people that your performance does not define you. Jesus loves you for you.”

Tiare also says that Oklahoma has a tradition of prayer after each game, which she hopes touches the lives of whoever may be watching.

“After each game, our team invites the other team into our circle to pray. Hoping that in that moment we are reaching out to those whose hearts don’t know Jesus and also connect with other believers. I hope people see how free I play with no anxiety and when they ask me why the reason is Jesus takes it away.”

After a season in which Oklahoma finished 49-2, the Sooners are the favorites as they prepare for NCAA Regionals on their home field. With their first game just days away and the chance to bring a title to Norman, Tiare says the team is more ready than ever before to compete. With that opportunity, however, Tiare says she and the rest of the team hope that their time around the game is one filled with love and encouragement and that they might touch the lives of all those watching.

 

Ethan Kruse

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