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OU Duo Named USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Finalists
May 11, 2012
The Sooner duo of junior Keilani Ricketts and freshman Lauren Chamberlain have been named two of 11 finalists for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year honor, the Amateur Softball Association announced.

Oklahoma's pair of nominees ties for the most from one team, along with California. Due to a tie, 11 players have been named to the list. This is the first year Ricketts has cracked the top 11 after making the top 25 two seasons in a row.

Chamberlain currently leads the Big 12 in home runs with 22, an OU single-season record and just two shy of the Big 12 single-season record. The mark is the third-best total in the nation. The freshman also leads the league in runs scored (49), RBI (58), total bases (127) and slugging percentage (.852). She is 10th nationally with her 58 RBI.

Leading the Sooners in the circle, Ricketts has a 26-6 record and an ERA of 1.14. She ranks second nationally in strikeouts per seven innings (10.8), third in total strikeouts (325), fourth in hits allowed per seven innings (3.84) and eighth in shutouts (8). The two-time All-American leads the league in ERA, strikeouts and opposing team batting average, holding opponents to a .155 clip at the plate. She has tallied 1,123 strikeouts through her three years at OU, the fourth-best mark Big 12 career mark in that category.

In the batter's box, the San Jose, Calif.-native is third on the squad with 14 home runs while leading the conference with an on-base percentage of .554, a mark that is eighth nationally. Ricketts owns the Big 12's second-best slugging percentage, .837, while ranking 10th nationally with 41 walks, an average of 0.84 per game.

The award, which is considered the most prestigious honor in Division I women's collegiate softball, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female softball players across the country. This year's Top 11 is comprised of five seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and one freshman from nine universities.

The Big 12 has claimed the honor three times in the award's 10 years. Texas pitcher Cat Osterman received the award in 2003, 2005 and 2006, the only athlete to be recognized three times.

The list will be narrowed down to three finalists on May 23, while the winner of this year's USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be revealed on May 29 prior to the start of the NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.

The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award is voted on by coaching representatives from 11 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA Regions as well as members of the media who consistently cover Division I softball across the nation.

2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 11 Finalists
Valerie Arioto, California, Sr., U
Katelyn Boyd, Arizona State, Sr., SS
Lauren Chamberlain, Oklahoma, Fr., INF
Raven Chavanne, Tennessee, Jr., 3B/OF
Jolene Henderson, California, Jr., RHP/1B
Michelle Moultrie, Florida, Sr., CF
Sara Nevins, South Florida, So., LHP
Christi Orgeron, ULL, Sr., OF
Sara Plourde, UMass, Sr., RHP
Keilani Ricketts, Oklahoma, Jr., RHP
Jackie Traina, Alabama, So., P/DP

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