Junior Jaiden Johnson broke a school record for RBIs and was named the NCAA Division II Player of the Week by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, all in her big debut for Oklahoma Christian University’s softball team.
Johnson debuted in her hometown of Las Vegas and came out swinging. She hit three home runs, two doubles and stole seven bases during the game.
Johnson said it was God’s will she ended up at Oklahoma Christian.
“God called, and I answered,” Johnson said. “I thank him for the opportunity.”
While Johnson is an incredible softball player now, she has not always played softball. Johnson originally played football before finding her passion in softball.
“I was playing football, and one of my teammates had a sister playing softball,” Johnson said. “I joined her and haven’t stopped.”
Johnson claims her hunger to succeed partnered with her patience is how she ended up in the position she is in.
“I’ve been very patient and persistent in keeping myself in a position to obtain it,” Johnson said. “In my year off from school, I starved for it. I currently feel hungry to do it again.”
Johnson’s single game record in RBIs has helped Johnson set a target for every team coming up against the Eagles the rest of the season.
“It gives me a target,” Johnson said. “Every team we play will be wearing that target, and I will be training diligently to hit it every single time.”
Johnson described the softball team as a pack, and also said the team puts a lot of value on team relationships. To Johnson, this is all you can ask for from a team.
“We play like a pack,” said Johnson. “We have dogs that can eat, and we have freshman pups learning to do the same. We take care of each other, and when we step on a field, we go for the kill. This team values friendship and competition, and that’s all you could ask for when wanting top tier success.”
The softball program as a whole had a stellar season last year, and going forward this season, Johnson said the expectation is simply to play out of your mind.
“Our team expectation is to find our limits and surpass them,” Johnson said. “Often in the dugout, you’ll hear, ‘Go stupid, go crazy,’ and it’s because we expect the game to take you out of your body, and for you to hit a level you didn’t know you could hit. We expect each other to surrender to being great and give each other a lot of room to do so.”
According to Johnson, her pre-game song is “What’s Poppin’” by Jack Harlow, and her favorite food after a long tournament is Japanese ramen.
The Lady Eagles take the field again on Friday, Feb. 7, against Colorado School of Mines at Oklahoma Christian.