JUNE 19 UPDATE
Ricketts Named a Finalist for Honda Cup
Oklahoma pitcher joins Baylor’s Brittney Griner and Stanford’s Terese Noyola.
NORMAN, Okla. — Less than a week after being named the 2012 Honda Softball Player of the Year by the The Collegiate Women Sports Awards program, Oklahoma’s Keilani Ricketts was named a finalist for the 36th Annual Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious Honda Cup to be announced live on ESPNU on Saturday, June 23 at 2 p.m. CT. Ricketts is one of three finalists, joining Baylor basketball’s Brittney Griner and Stanford soccer’s Teresa Noyola.
“It’s such an honor to be a finalist for an award as prestigious as the Honda Cup,” said Ricketts. “I know that there are so many talented female athletes across the world, along with the pioneers who came before us, who have helped to cultivate the respect that women’s sports receive today. Having been chosen as a representative of such an accomplished group is very meaningful. This honor also speaks volumes about the team that surrounds me, without them I would not be up for this award.”
The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, Ricketts led the Sooners to a second-place finish at the Women’s College World Series and a final record of 54-10. The unanimous Big 12 Player of the Year helped the program capture its ninth Big 12 title.
In the circle, the three-time All-American ranked second in the NCAA with an ERA of 1.08, 457 strikeouts and 37 victories. Ricketts finished third in the nation in giving up just 3.91 hits per seven innings.
Ricketts ended the season ranked 10th in the country with an on-base percentage of .553 and 19th with an .825 slugging percentage at the plate. The Oklahoma junior was ninth nationally with 53 walks.
Griner, Noyola and Ricketts emerged as the CWSA’s “Best of the Best” on the Road to the 2012 Honda Cup that included Honda Sports Award winners in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. They will be joined at the live broadcast of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards in Los Angeles, Calif. by Honda Division II Athlete of the Year, Kari Daughtery of Ashland University, Honda Division III Athlete of the Year, Stacey Hagensen of Pacific Lutheran University, and the 2012 Honda Inspiration Award Winner, Elena Delle Donne of the University of Delaware. Schools, conferences and fans around the country are organizing viewing parties on Saturday to support the women, share in the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Title IX, and the watch the live announcement of this year’s Honda Cup winner on ESPNU.
The Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 36 years, recognizing not only superior athletic skills, but also leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Honda has been a sponsor of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards for the past 26 years. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $2.5 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions. The 2011-2012 Honda Sports Award winners are Sheila Reid of Villanova University (Cross Country), Megan Frazer of the University of Maryland (Field Hockey), Teresa Noyola of Stanford University (Soccer), Alex Jupiter of the University of Southern California (Volleyball), Caitlin Leverenz of the University of California, Berkeley (Swimming & Diving), Brittney Griner of Baylor University (Basketball), Kytra Hunter of the University of Florida (Gymnastics), Brooke Pancake of the University of Alabama (Golf), Nicole Gibbs of Stanford University (Tennis), Taylor Thornton of Northwestern University (Lacrosse), Keilani Ricketts of the University of Oklahoma (Softball), Honda Division II Athlete of the Year, Kari Daugherty of Ashland University (Basketball), Honda Division III Athlete of the Year, Stacey Hagensen of Pacific Lutheran University (Softball), and 2012 Honda Inspiration Award Winner, Elena Delle Donne of the University of Delaware (Basketball). Previous Honda Cup winners include Ann Meyers Drysdale, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mia Hamm, Lisa Fernandez, Misty May-Treanor, Courtney Kupets, Maya Moore, and Candace Parker.
SPY NEEDS A SPONSOR
Spy had planned over many months to attend the Canadian Open Fastpitch tournament in Surrey, then trek north to the Yukon for the international championship, July 13-22. Assuming I pass the medical tests next Tuesday, there is a further complication. The nearly three week trip will cost about $7,000 – and Spy’s pocketbook is on life support – after spending more than $500,000 and counting.
TWO MORE INDUCTED INTO HALL Linda Ford (player) and Alfred “Ali” Culmer (coach) were formally inducted into the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame in their home country of the Bahamas. ISF 1st Vice President Dale McMann was on-hand for the ceremony at Government House. The two were among those elected to the Hall of Fame last October at the XXV ISF Congress. According to the website tribune242.com, “Dozens of the biggest names in the sport, both locally and internationally, lauded the star studded player and manager for their long list of accomplishments.” Ford played for over 30 years, including at the Pan American Games, the first-ever World Games, and two ISF women’s world championships. Culmer coached the women’s national team, including at two ISF world championships. He was later promoted to manager and also served as treasurer of the Bahamas Softball Federation.
WORLDWIDE CELEBRATIONS Last Wednesday was World Softball Day. For the eighth straight year, the occasion was marked by activity around the world, all in commemoration of the date in 1991 (June 13) when the International Olympic Committee announced that softball (women’s fast pitch) would be added to the Summer Olympics, effective with the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Although the ISF is still awaiting information and pictures from many of its member national federations, already it is known that many did conduct World Softball Day celebrations. For example, as shown below, the national governing body for softball in Senegal gathered kids of all ages to teach them basic skills. Afterwards two exhibition games were held. Journalists and two TV channels were present at the special event.
DID YOU KNOW that 25% of Americans get their morning coffee at Starbucks – which now has more than 75,000 coffee combinations.
That the British now claim that a Londoner created the first flush toilet, albeit using Crapper’s design? Ergo, it is correct to use the term “john” and the term “crapper.” (knew you wanted to know)