Eckermann and Ricketts earn preseason honor.
Jan. 30, 2008
NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma softball players Lauren Eckermann and Samantha Ricketts have been named to the initial watch list for the seventh annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award, announced the Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States. Ricketts was named one of three finalists for the award last year.
Ricketts led the nation in RBI (81) last season and became OU's first player to be named one of three finalists for the National Player of the Year award. As a sophomore last season Ricketts earned second team All-America honors and set a Big 12 and OU record for RBI in a single season.
Eckermann returns for her senior season in 2008 after being named the Big 12 Co-Pitcher of the Year last season. The right-handed pitcher earned third team All-America honors last season after recording a 37-5 record and leading the Sooners to a Big 12 Postseason Championship and Super Regional.
The 2008 Pre-Season Watch List is comprised of 50 players representing 34 schools and 14 different NCAA Division I Conferences. The ASA will announce the 25 finalists on April 9. A player does not have to appear on the initial watch list to be considered as a Top 25 finalist, but once the Top 25 is named the remaining finalist must be selected from that list.
Just days before the start of post-season play, a list of 10 finalists will be named and released on May 7. The final three finalists will be announced May 21 while the winner of the 2008 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be announced prior to the start of the 2008 NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.
The No. 5 Oklahoma softball squad will open the season against No. 10 UCLA in Westwood, Calif., on Feb. 8.