NORMAN — Keilani Ricketts will soon be back on the softball field, this time in the pros.
The four-time All-American and National Player of the Year a season ago at Oklahoma, Ricketts signed on Tuesday a three-year contract to play for the USSSA Pride of the National Pro Fastpitch league.
Ricketts, who also had a marketing offer from the national team, will make her pro debut at 1 p.m. Saturday against the New York/New Jersey Comets in a game that will be televised on ESPN2.
With the Pride, Ricketts will rejoin former teammate and catcher Jessica Shults, who signed with the Pride in June.
“Keilani Ricketts represents the best of the best of the class of 2013,” NPF commissioner Cheri Kempf said. “She, along with our other talented NPF rookies, represents the future of professional softball. I am beyond thrilled to have college’s most decorated player join the NPF and I am very much looking forward to seeing her continue to grow as an athlete as she competes with, and against, the world’s very best softball players.”
Sooners add talented
transfer:For the second season in a row, Oklahoma’s roster will be bolstered by a former All Pac-12 player.
Shelby Pendley transferred in a season ago from Arizona and help lead the Sooners to the national title. Now Kelsey Stevens, who was name to the All Pac-12 freshman team a year ago, will move to OU from Stanford.
Stevens, who will be a sophomore, went 15-7 and threw a team-high 163 strikeouts for the Cardinal last season. She threw 10 complete games, seven of which were shutouts, in 21 starts. She threw a perfect game against Virginia on Feb. 23 and her 2.99 ERA was among the best from freshmen last season.
She figures to play a big role in OU’s roster after the Sooners graduated their top two pitchers from a national-title team last season.