Ricketts named Honda softball POY

NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma's Keilani Ricketts was named the 2012 Honda Softball Player of the Year by the The Collegiate Women Sports Awards program Wednesday. Already the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, Ricketts led the Sooners to a second-place finish at the Women's College World Series and a final record of 54-10.

"It is truly an honor to have Keilani recognized as the top student-athlete in collegiate softball," OU head coach Patty Gasso said. "She is a humble and hard-working person whose dedication to the sport has truly made being her teammate, coach or fan a blessing. Certainly, this is not just a reward for Keilani, but for all who have had the opportunity to be associated with her throughout her career."

A three-time All-American, Ricketts ended the season ranked 10th in the country with an on-base percentage of .553 and 19th with an .825 slugging percentage. The Oklahoma junior was ninth nationally with 53 walks.

In the circle, the unanimous Big 12 Player of the Year ranked second in the NCAA with an ERA of 1.08, 457 strikeouts and 37 victories. Ricketts finished third in the nation in giving up just 3.91 hits per seven innings.

The Honda Sports Award is presented annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. As a Honda prize recipient, Ricketts becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious Honda Cup to be presented this year on June 23, in a live broadcast from the ESPN Studios in Los Angeles. She was chosen by a vote of coaches from 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Katelyn Boyd of Arizona State University, Jolene Henderson of the University of California, Berkeley, and Jackie Traina of the University of Alabama.

Honda has been a sponsor of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards for 26 years. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $2.5 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women's athletics programs at the institutions. Joining Ricketts on the current roster of 2012 Honda Sports Award winners are Sheila Reid of Villanova University (Cross Country), Megan Frazer of the University of Maryland (Field Hockey), Teresa Noyola of Stanford University (Soccer), Alex Jupiter of the University of Southern California (Volleyball), Caitlin Leverenz of the University of California, Berkeley (Swimming & Diving), Brittney Griner of Baylor University (Basketball), Kytra Hunter of the University of Florida (Gymnastics), Brooke Pancake of the University of Alabama (Golf), Nicole Gibbs of Stanford University (Tennis), Taylor Thornton of Northwestern University (Lacrosse), Honda Division II Athlete of the Year, Kari Daugherty of Ashland University (Basketball), Honda Division III Athlete of the Year, Stacey Hagensen of Pacific Lutheran University (Softball), and 2012 Honda Inspiration Award Winner, Elena Delle Donne of the University of Delaware (Basketball).

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