With her extensive travel schedule with USA Softball, Keilani Ricketts has kept academics a priority. With her major in communications, she has been selected to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll three times and is a three-time Sooner Scholar. Ricketts’ commitment to her academics, in spite of the demands of a collegiate softball season and training/playing for the U.S. National team, will be demonstrated in May when she graduates in four years from OU.
The most honored softball player in school history, Keilani Ricketts is the pitcher you want in the circle in any must win game. Her records and her honors will back that statement up but it is just as easy to appreciate her leadership just by watching her play. When she steps into the circle, all becomes right in the Sooners’ softball world and she is going to get that key out more often than not. And, if she doesn’t bring order to chaos in the circle, give her a chance in the batter’s box. That’s what makes Ricketts a true leader – she will find a way to lead her teammates to victory. And all the honors mean little to her unless she can share them with her teammates because this incredibly talented student-athlete is all about team and doing whatever she has to do to help her team. When the most talented player on the team is also the best leader, the team result is sure to be a success. With 144 wins against only 41 losses and back-to-back trips to the Women’s College World Series, success has been earned.
Along with her softball teammates, Ricketts has volunteered at area non-profit agencies including the latest effort, a week in late November, at Mission Norman. A food pantry, stocked and run through volunteers only, Keilani Ricketts and her teammates spent three afternoons, stocking shelves, packing food boxes, helping people select food items and then carrying those items to their cars. Additionally, she has coordinated equipment drives to collect softball equipment to donate to groups that have a need.
Keilani Ricketts is a three-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American, the last two first team. She has been a key performer for the last two U.S. National teams, helping lead the team to a silver medal at the 2012 ISF XIII Women’s World Fastpitch Championship. Ricketts went 4-0 in the tourney with a 1.04 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 27 innings pitched. She recorded two wins and got the title-clinching save for Team USA at the 2012 World Cup of Softball. She was the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, the 2012 Honda Softball Player of the Year and a finalist for the 2012 Honda Cup, the highest award a women’s collegiate student-athlete can win. A finalist for 2012 Women’s Sports Foundation’s Sportswoman of the Year, she was named the 2012 Big 12 Player of the Year. She has earned first-team All-Big 12 honors three years. She also has earned first-team All-Central Region honors for three years. She opened the 2013 season by throwing no hitters against then-No. 21 Stanford and then-No. 5 Oregon. She owns school records for strikeouts in a career (1,376), season (457 in 2012) and game (19 vs. New Mexico State, May 20, 2011). She has taken over the school top spot for career shutouts with 46 and is tied for wins in a season with 37. Additionally, she also is a career leader in complete games (105) and games started (137). She is second or third in four other career pitching marks. She is second in career walks drawn (138) and is ranked in the top three in career on-base percentage and slugging percentage. She has moved into seventh on the career list for homeruns (41). She has been named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week twice as a senior, bringing her career total to 12 times. She earned a spot on the 2012 WCWS All-Tournament team, leading OU to the championship series.