Ricketts is named top college softball player again
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma’s Keilani Ricketts, who has Samoan ties, has been named the top college softball player in the country for the second straight year.
The Amateur Softball Association of America on Tuesday night announced that Ricketts won the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award.
The other finalists were Oklahoma teammate Lauren Chamberlain and Tennessee’s Raven Chavanne.
Ricketts becomes the third player to win the honor multiple times.
Texas pitcher Cat Osterman was the player of the year three times, and Washington’s Danielle Lawrie won it in 2009 and 2010.
Ricketts is 31-1 this season with a 1.22 ERA and 311 strikeouts. She’s also hitting .375 with 13 home runs and 54 RBIs.
Her Sooners are the No. 1 seed in the Women’s Col- lege World Series, which starts Thursday.
Ricketts was in the territory earlier this year conducting softball clinics as well as presenting a donation of equipment to Fa’asao Marist High School. She and her sisters Samantha and Stephanie first visited the territory during Samoa Bowl IX where they conducted a girls softball clinic.
The Ricketts sisters are the granddaughters of the late Lewis and Louisa Ripley Gabbard of Tafuna and Leone. They were born and raised in San Jose California to parents Jeff and Carol Gabbard Ricketts, and say they had always expressed an interest in visiting the birth place of both their grandparents.
The Samoa Bowl IX became that opportunity, with not only visiting their grandparents’ birth place, but to learn first hand about their culture and its values — and even more, it also served as a chance give to the community that helps them to identify their heritage — being Samoan.