July 16, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. – Former Oklahoma pitcher Keilani Ricketts has signed a three-year contract to play for the USSSA Pride of the National Pro Fastpitch League, the team announced Tuesday.
“Keilani is as good as it gets coming out of college and she’s a perfect fit for the Pride family,” USSSA Pride General Manager Don DeDonatis said. “Keilani is an extremely talented athlete and is a proven threat at the plate, as well as an extraordinary pitcher.
"Having said that, what is most important to USSSA is the positive impact and influence we know Keilani will have on the sport of fastpitch softball, USSSA and the NPF.”
Ricketts joins the Pride after a decorated career as a Sooner. She became the first student-athlete in school history to win the Honda Cup, given to the nation’s top female collegiate athlete and was a two-time USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year.
She helped lead the Sooners to the 2013 Women’s College World Series Championship in June, the team’s second title in program annals. After throwing a career-high 12.0 innings to help the Sooners win game one of the championship series, Ricketts drove in all four runs in a 4-0 victory over Tennessee in the title-clinching win, including a three-run home run.
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“Keilani Ricketts represents the best of the best of the class of 2013,” NPF Commissioner Cheri Kempf said. “She, along with our other talented NPF rookies represents the future of professional softball.
“I am beyond thrilled to have college’s most decorated player join the NPF and I am very much looking forward to seeing her continue to grow as an athlete as she competes with, and against, the world’s very best softball players.”
The only four-time All American in school history, Ricketts set career records in wins, strikeouts, complete games, innings pitched, appearances, starts, shutouts and walks drawn. She was tabbed the 2013 Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and was an All-Big 12 Defensive Team honoree.
Ricketts was 35-1 in her senior season with a 1.23 earned run average and 350 strikeouts in 238.1 innings pitched. She posted the second most shutouts in the nation this year with 16 and ranked third in wins (35), fifth in hits allowed per seven innings (3.61), sixth in total strikeouts (350) and eighth in both ERA (1.23) and strikeouts per seven innings (10.3).
Additionally, Ricketts hit .379 at the plate with 15 home runs and 60 runs batted in. She slugged .725, got on base at a .534 clip and was a perfect 9-9 on stolen bases.
Ricketts will be reunited with former Oklahoma catcher, Jessica Shults, who signed with the Pride in June. She will make her NPF debut for the Pride against the NY / NJ Comets during the upcoming weekend. Saturday’s 1 p.m. CT game and Sunday’s 2 p.m. CT game will both be aired live on ESPN2.