NORMAN, Okla. - The 2006 Oklahoma softball team hit the field at the OU Softball Complex this week for the beginning of fall team practice. The Sooners will have two weeks of practice before opening the fall season with its annual OU Fall Festival held at the OU Softball Complex Sept. 24-25.
In addition, OU softball fans will have two more opportunities to watch the fall season with two games slated for Wednesday, Sept. 28 and Tuesday, Oct. 11, both at 4 p.m. at the OU Softball Complex.
OU opened fall practice with six newcomers and welcomed back 13 members from a 2005 squad that won the NCAA Regional 14 Championship, finished second in Big 12 Conference play while posting an overall season mark of 50-17 and a 12-6 record in league play.
The following is a breakdown of the 2006 softball roster:
Graduating from last year’s 2005 squad are first baseman Christina Enea, pitcher Kami Keiter, leftfielder Jessica Leslie and catcher Heather Scaglione. Together, the quartet tallied 11 All-Big 12, seven All-Midwest Region and four All-America honors during their careers at Oklahoma.
Enea, a three-time All-Big 12 performer, started 61 games for the Sooners while hitting at a clip of .321 (fourth on team) and recording 42 RBI in 2005. The first baseman from Woodland Hills, Calif., owned a fielding percentage of .992 with only three errors on the season. Enea swiped 13 bases in 2005 and was only caught stealing once in her career.
Keiter is one of only two pitchers in OU history to record 100 wins. The Arvada, Colo., native was a four-time All-Big 12 selection and concluded her senior campaign with a 1.37 ERA and a record of 32-7. In addition, Keiter was named to the Midwest All-Region and All-Big 12 Tournament teams while also recording the lowest career ERA in Big 12 history for a four-year starter.
Leslie started in all 67 games at left field for the Sooners. The Midwest All-Region second team member hit at a clip of .308 while posting 57 RBI (third in the Big 12). The Raytown, Mo., native also led the Big 12 in doubles with 21, which ranked fourth among all Division I softball players.
Scaglione, a two-time All-American, was selected as the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year in 2005. The catcher from San Diego, Calif., also claimed Midwest All-Region, All-Big 12 and All-Big 12 Tournament honors during her final season. Scaglione hit .370 for the season while leading the team with 59 RBI and 14 home runs.
The Sooners return 13 players and five starters from last year’s NCAA Regional 14 title team. In the circle, three pitchers (Stacy Braddock, Nicole Denes and Jadyn Smith) who made 15 or more appearances each, will be back.
Familiar faces in the field for 2006 will include Kristin Vesely (CF), Norrelle Dickson (3B), Jamie Fox (RF), Tayl’r Hollis (2B) and Savannah Long (SS).
All-Americans Vesely (second team) and Dickson (third team) return to lead the offensive effort for the Sooners. The one and two hitters in the lineup scored 31 percent of OU’s runs this season and led their team to a 32-2 record when they scored in the first inning.
Sophomores Long and Hollis have a year of collegiate experience under their belt and will be strong contributors to the Sooner lineup. Junior Jamie Fox will add veteran leadership after starting every single game for the Sooners in 2005 and hitting at a .306 clip.
The Sooners will start the 2006 season with four open starting spots, which means the 2005 reserves and newcomers will be expected to step into major roles in 2006. Among the six newcomers are hurlers D.J. Mathis (left-handed) and Morgan Hudsonpillar (right-handed) with infielders Traci Dickenson and Jessica Legendre. Samantha Ricketts will play behind the plate while Jeannie Douglas will be used as a utility player.