Keilani Ricketts

By: Shianne Lindsay

Could she be the next big thing?

"Her size, her speed, it's almost like she shortens the distance between the mound and you. It's unreal when your hitting against her." -OU teammate Lauren Chamberlain.

One can imagine this is true, in a sport when you stand 43 feet away from the mound while at bat, the 6'2 pitcher may seem intimidating. Her 70 mph fastball makes her even more intimidating. Keilani is also a strong hitter, who contributed nearly all of last seasons runs. Mike White, Oregon coach, said that Keilani has some of the best talent in the country.
One win away from a national championship last season, Oklahoma Sooners comes in to the season with an enhanced line-up, with 5 returning players hitting double digit home-runs, including Lauren Chamberlain hitting a conference record of 30 home-runs as a freshman. Even more of an advantage, they had Keilani, one of the leading pitchers in the country.

Softball has struggled to produce a star since it lost its Olympic standing. Jennie Finch is still the biggest name nearly three years into her retirement. The sport's most notable active players are veterans like Abbott, Osterman and Jessica Mendoza who played in the Olympics. Even Danielle Lawrie, the most recent former college star to find some measure of mainstream recognition, had an Olympic stage with Canada in 2008.

It won't be easy for any player to change that without a higher profile outlet than National Pro Fastpitch or the international game currently allows. It will take someone larger than life.

I rate this article a 9 out of 10. It was fun to read an article on something I'm interested in. It was entertaining and gave lots of information on the Sooners and their season. The article did not talk about Keilani's background or previous seasons though. I recommend this article to anyone who is interested in softball, pitching, or the Oklahoma Sooners.