Ricketts earns Player of the Week
OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma pitcher Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif.) had a tremendous start to her senior season this week at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. The 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year notched both her second and third career no-hitters defeating then-No. 21 Stanford 6-0 and then-No. 5 Oregon 12-0, in five innings. For her efforts, Ricketts has been named USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week for week 1 of the NCAA season the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. It is the second Player of the Week selection for Ricketts who won the honor in week two of her freshman year in 2010.
“It’s really exciting and such an honor to receive this achievement,” said Ricketts. “I know it wouldn’t have been possible without the defense making clutch plays behind me, as well as the explosive bats on offense that kept me relaxed and confident in the circle this week.”
Entering the season ranked No. 2 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Preseason Top 25 poll, the Sooners picked up five wins over the week including three run-rule victories and outscoring it’s opponents 50-7. In the season opener, the lefthander recorded 14 strikeouts and hit a solo homerun in the first inning. She yielded just five base runners and allowed only one ball to reach the outfield.
Ricketts threw her second no-hitter in as many games on Saturday morning as the Sooners cruised to the 12-0, five inning run-rule of No. 5 Oregon. Picking up her 100th career win, the senior allowed just two base runners on a walk and an error. Ten of the 15 outs recorded by the Sooners defense in the contest came by way of a Ricketts strikeout.
“It is a tremendous honor to earn this award because there are so many unbelievable athletes in softball today,” said Oklahoma Head Coach Patty Gasso. “To be singled out, whether for a week or the season, it’s very special for our program and for Keilani.”
Ricketts finished the week with 28 strikeouts, a 2.00 ERA and a .096 opponents batting average in 14 innings in the circle. A double threat, the senior also notched three hits, three runs and three RBI en route to a .300 batting average, .600 slugging percentage and .533 on-base percentage.
Impart to Ricketts contributions, Oklahoma earned the No. 1 ranking in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll released earlier today by ASA. The Sooners were ranked second in the pre-season poll.