Ricketts Earns National Honors, Flores Named Big 12 Player of the Week

Ricketts Earns National Honors, Flores named Big 12 Player of the Week

NORMAN, Okla. – University of Oklahoma freshman Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif.) has been named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week and USA Softball’s National Player of the Week. Ricketts went 3-0 at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic with wins against then-No. 21 Northwestern (3-0), then-No. 12 California (12-1 [5]) and Long Beach State (10-0 [5]). She picked up her first save of the season against Boise State.

Ricketts recorded a 0.37 earned run average on the week, pitching 19 innings. She allowed one run and one extra base hit in those four appearances and tossed two complete game shutouts. Ricketts walked just seven batters and gave up just seven hits. She held opponents to a .111 batting average and recorded 22 total strikeouts on the weekend. Long Beach State managed just one hit, while Northwestern and Cal each registered two. Ricketts matched a season high with 12 strikeouts against Northwestern. Both honors were the first of her young career and the first national honor for OU since Amber Flores (Calexico, Calif.) swept both national awards on Feb. 10, 2009.

“I am very proud of the way Keilani attacked from the circle this weekend,” said head coach Patty Gasso. “She faced some outstanding teams and did a tremendous job of handling exceptional hitters. I know our production allowed her to breathe a little easier, and it’s exciting to see her learning, growing and settling in with each game.”

Flores earned her sixth career Big 12 Player of the Week award. In Las Vegas, Flores led the Sooners with a .573 batting average (7-for-13) and a 1.308 slugging percentage. She scored eight runs, drove in five and had three home runs in OU’s five wins over Cal State Fullerton (7-1), then-No. 21 Northwestern (3-0), Boise State (8-4), then-No. 12 California (12-1 [5]) and Long Beach State (10-0 [5]). Flores recorded 17 total bases and drew five walks for a .684 on-base percentage.

“Amber had somewhat of a slow start to the season and to see her respond the way she did this past weekend was special,” Gasso added. “She helped in a leadership role and her play was infectious. You could see others elevate their game because of that, and it was a pleasure to watch.”

Oklahoma swept the conference’s weekly honors for the first time since Krystle Huey (player) and D.J. Mathis (pitcher) did so on April 28, 2009.

The Sooners return to action Thursday at the Cathedral City (Calif.) Classic. Oklahoma opens against San Diego State at 5:30 p.m. CT.

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