Keilani Rickettes, the outstanding pitcher/hitter for the Oklahoma Sooners, is the 2012 USA Softball Player of the Year.
The announcement was made Tuesday night at the annual sports banquet preceding the Women’s College World Series.
(details to follow)
Oklahoma’s Ricketts Named 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today that Oklahoma pitcher Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif.) was selected as the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. Ricketts, also the 2012 Big 12 Player of the Year, helped lead the Oklahoma Sooners to their second straight NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) appearance.
In the circle, Ricketts ranks third in the NCAA with a .99 ERA, fifth with 33 wins and her 393 strikeouts, including 21 in last weekend’s Super Regionals versus Arizona, rank third nationally. Ricketts is currently second in the nation only giving up 3.71 hits for every seven innings pitched. In 43 outings this season, Ricketts has recorded 23 double-digit strikeout games. The southpaw has recorded 1,190 career strikeouts, putting her third on the Big 12 career list.
“This is an honor and a dream come true,” said Ricketts. “I couldn’t have won without my team, they’re my backbone and my family. They give me tons of support and I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”
From the plate, the Oklahoma junior currently ranks eighth in the country with an on-base percentage of .563 and twelfth with an .853 slugging percentage. Ricketts is ninth nationally with 49 walks.
“This is the biggest individual honor that we’ve ever had in our program,” said Oklahoma Head Coach Patty Gasso. “She was up against some tough competition and it could have gone to any of them because they’re all phenomenal. Keilani has continued to get better every year and this is a tribute to her hard work. We are very proud of her”
The other two finalists for the 2012 award were Pac-12 Player of the Year Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) of California and Pac-12 First-Team honoree Katelyn Boyd (Phoenix, Ariz.) of Arizona State.
The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award is voted on by coaching representatives from 11 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA Regions as well as members of the media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country, and previous Player of the Year recipients. Past winners of this award include UCLA’s Stacey Nuveman, Florida State’s Jessica Van der Linden, three-time winner from Texas Cat Osterman, Tennessee’s Monica Abbott, Virginia Tech’s Angela Tincher, two-time winner Washington pitcher/hitter Danielle Lawrie and 2011 winner Ashley Hansen from Stanford.