Shults Excited for Freshman Season

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
AUGUST 10, 2009

Aug. 10, 2009

NORMAN, Okla. - As part of the nation's top softball signing class, Oklahoma incoming freshman Jessica Shults is looking forward to her rookie season in Norman. Shults brings a bevy of awards and honors to campus. Coupled with Michelle Gascoigne, Keilani Ricketts and junior college signee Haley Nix, Shults is a part of a talented class that could lead OU to a second straight Big 12 Championship.

Shults recently wrapped up her senior season at Hart High School in Valencia, Calif. She was named the team's Most Valuable Player and Offensive MVP. Shults earned Foothill League and Santa Clarita Valley Player of the Year honors and was named to the Los Angeles Daily News' first team All-CIF. Shults also earned All-America first team honors from EA Sports.

She hit .448 during her final season, recording an astonishing .885 slugging percentage. Shults hit 10 home runs and eight doubles, while driving in 27 runs and drawing 23 walks. recently caught up with Shults during her busy summer schedule. She, along with her summer team, the Worth Firecrackers, placed third at last week's ASA GOLD National Championship in Oklahoma City. Among those topics discussed include her future career plans and making the adjustment from high school to college.

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Q: What excites you the most about coming to the University of Oklahoma?
A: Being able to be a part of such a high level sports program. I'm also looking forward to playing in front of the fans. The support they give to not just softball, but all sports is amazing. 

Q: How do you think your game has improved over the last year?
A: I think my game has improved a lot mentally. I feel I have had a calmer mindset and it has helped with my decision making on the field. My hitting has improved by being more selective with pitches. I'm getting better results more often.

Q: What assets do you bring to the team?
A: A positive energy and leadership skills.

Q: What excites you about playing in the Big 12?
A: I'm excited to compete against great teams I have watched on television for most of my life.

Q: What do you think your toughest challenge is at the collegiate level?
A: Early workouts and managing my time to make sure I can get everything done that is needed.

Q: What do you think your biggest transition will be from high school to college?
A: I think managing my time between school, softball and workouts. 

Q: How well do you know the other two freshman signees?
A: I know the other Keilani (Ricketts) and Michelle (Gascoigne) pretty well. I feel we are going to all get along very well.

Q: Where did you get advice from when trying to decide to come to OU?
A: My family knew I would be the one attending the school so they wanted the decision to be mine. I loved the campus, people and high level sports, so that made my decision a little bit easier.

Q: What's your intended major?
A: Communications because I am interested in sports broadcasting as my future career. I would like to stay involved with sports as long as I can.



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