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oktwistersgold

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Reply with quote  #1 

Keilani Ricketts, the two-time National Collegiate Player of the Year, informed the USA Softball Women’s National Team that she will not be a part of the team.

Ricketts is sitting out the World Cup of Softball VIII due to a contractual obligation with a Japanese League softball team, although that team does not begin playing until September. Before signing with a team in Japan, Ricketts said she turned down a two-year deal to become the face of the Amateur Softball Association.

Ricketts, a two-time national team player, would have more than likely started for Team USA when it faced Canada in an opening game. The World Cup runs Thursday through Sunday at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.

Ricketts told The Oklahoman on Wednesday she is just “chilling out at home” right now in California.

“She had a business decision to make,” USA Softball spokesman Ronnie Isham told The Norman Transcript, “and that business decision did not include Team USA.”

Isham said Ricketts’ decision caught USA Softball off guard.

Over the last two summers, the left-hander has helped Team USA win the 2012 World Cup of Softball and silver medal at the 2012 International Softball Federation XIII Women’s World Fastpitch Championship.

Ricketts, who pitched for the 2013 national champion Oklahoma Sooners, made Team USA along with OU teammates Lauren Chamberlain and Destinee Martinez. All three players took part in the three-day selection camp and were chosen out of 32 players for the 18-person roster.

In addition to winning the national championship and Collegiate Player of the Year award, Ricketts was also won the 2013 Honda Cup, which goes to the nation’s top female college athlete.

Ricketts finished her senior season with a 35-1 record, a 1.23 earned run average and threw six no hitters, the last one in the Women’s College World Series.

She was also a threat at the plate, collecting 15 home runs and 60 RBIs. Ricketts drove in all four runs in OU’s 4-0 national championship victory over Tennessee.

Sheridan Hawkins or Oregon is Ricketts’ replacement on the roster. Hawkins finished her freshman season with a 19-5 record, 212 strikeouts and 1.55 ERA.

She had 19 starts last season and appeared in 39 games. In the postseason, the left-hander only allowed six hits and one run in 15 innings pitched.

 
ccdude

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Reply with quote  #2 
more on the Ricketts story - pressured to do long term deal
http://espn.go.com/espnw/news-commentary/article/9469464/espnw-usa-softball-botches-keilani-ricketts-deal

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ccdude
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #3 
dude - Sounds like Team USA was building a team predicated on winning the World Cup and the World Championship - 2014 and 2015 I believe - so they were looking for long term commitments, and Ricketts had too many financial irons in the fire to make that kind of commitment.  Team USA wanted the long term commitment, and Ricketts had other fish to fry, perhaps in Orlando, Florida and Japan, and evidently there could be, given the opposing philosophies, no room for compromise.  Good people all engaged in a situation that has risen as soon as professionalism entered the sport.  The whole thing rings of bad timing and different perspectives about "the game".  Actually, the choice given to Ricketts was to either commit to Team USA for 3 years or to become a professional.  Understandable in today's game. They demanded a choice, and she chose.  So it goes. The results are manifest. Go Team USA.      Good fortune to Ricketts in her professional endeavors. She's a heckova player.     Frank
PS - Team USA is on ESPN at 8PM Eastern tonight. They must go on as though Ricketts had broken her leg.  

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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #4 
Winning pitcher Sara Nevins of University of South Florida  struck out 7, walked 1, and gave up 2 hits and no runs in 5 innings in USA's win over Canada.  Moore of Oregon pitched the sixth and induced 3 ground outs to complete the run rule 7-0 win for USA.  Gibson had a two run home run for USA.   Tomorrow USA will face Australia.  
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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #5 
Love College softball and international softball.....
But... the stands were pretty sparse and a 7-0 whipping of Canada run-ruling them in the 6th is not helping softball's Olympic bid. It was not an exciting game, the announcers were ho hum and did not energize or seem excited, the crowd was relatively quiet (since usa was up 2-0 in first, and 4-0 in 2nd and Canada looked like a high school team vs an SEC or Pac12 team), and there was much more excitement and fans at WCWS than world cup and former an current softball players do not seem to care about team usa softball.

Looking forward to a great batch of games Friday (competitive and exciting for fans) and making my plans for Canada cup.

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JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #6 
phoenix - Always respect your opinions.  If current and former players do not care about USA Softball, what, if anything, do they care about?  Many posters have noted throughout the history of UCS (and lamented the apparent truth) that former female players do not become fans of any form of Fastpitch.  I don't believe that current players as "fans of the game" has been addressed.  Do they care about the "professional" league?  Do they care about "our game" beyond their personal participation?  Who, really, comprises the fan base for women's fastpitch???                                                                                                                    

 You describe the crowd at the Canada vs. USA game as sparse (I thought it was about average for fastpitch).  I also thought that Canada was better than you describe.   Certainly Ciardi who threw well for Syracuse is better than a 12U pitcher. The kid from Mass, Plourde was no slouch either.  I thought Canada played good, sometimes excellent defense.  Give some credit to Sara Nevins for Canada's ineptness at the plate.  USA was better and won by an appropriate score, but the competition wasn't nearly as bad as you portray it to be. Several Canadian starters are current or former US collegiate players. Others are veterans of international play.    Frank

PS - As for Olympic Softball, as long as the committee is primarily European and Asian, squash and wrestling will be reinstated before baseball and softball, especially with baseball's steroid problems.  It seems to me that if collegiate fastpitch dies or is cut back, fastpitch for women in our nation will go the way of men's elite fastpitch.  To quote q very old song from the 1940s, "If no one shares and no one cares, what's the use of a job well done, or a prize you've won?".  

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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #7 
I am being objective. Because of looming Olympic bid I am looking at glass half empty and not half full.

--Olympics seemed to be the carrot that kept several players interested in team usa softball.
So if women who played softball as kids, teens, travel squads, high school, national play, college, and professionally in japan/usa do not support team usa the sport cannot expect many other fants too either and NPF will stay where it is and not afford to grow. The player base and quality of players is available for 8 team league coast to coast but fan base is not there and neither is income. Pro league means you have to make money.

--This is not just a fastpitch softball game---this is the world cup of softball. Come see the current and former collegiate stars play for Canada and usa and see teams from Australia, puerto rico and Japan too.
We are asking them to bring back softball to Olympics as a sport fans want to see and yet less than half the seat of the 7300 seat stadium were filled for USA vs Canada on opening night--the 2 teams full of American college players.

-- I said high school not 12u. There are some great all-star high school teams that looked as good at the plate as Canada. They weren't facing abbot, osterman, rickets, or finch. I give Nevins credit for a well pitched game but we will see how Canada hits against the other teams. Last year in usa and Canada I was disappointed in how far Canada has dropped from being competitive with usa (and that was using lawrie and others last year in world championships on their home soil in Canada). Happy for Australia and dutch (American players) but Canada has fell off. And teams shouldn't need girls who played college in America to be competitive.

Every year college softball gets better and better yet post-collegiate softball does not. Even travel squad softball is great year after year and getting better. The little league world series and softball world series get more fans and more excitement than world cup of softball and I say this from seeing games in person and on tv. I will support world cup, Canada cup and international softball nomatter what but it is frustrating to see softball stall out after college  and not be better than it is. These women deserve more and the fandom stops caring when they take off the sooner , volunteer, crimson tide, duck, longhorn, or golden bear uniforms.

--I did not post this in the world cup 2013 thread. That is for the fun and joy of the world cup. This was a sidebar.

Back to softball....and the Japan vs USA matchup. A good japan showing may influence Asian committee voters.

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‎"The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." -- Abraham Lincoln
outofthezone

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Posts: 245
Reply with quote  #8 
Just like you said that travel ball and college ball has gotten better over the years, I too believe the fans have gotten better over the years. Better, meaning that they understand the game more and can spot real talent! The announcers try to hype the teams and players the best they can but most fans realize that today's USA team is far from what it once was talent wise! Watching our college all stars(team USA)beat Puerto Rico, who are an average travel ball team talent wise, is not appealing to me! I will watch USA vs Japan, if Ueno pitches, if she doesn't I will find another channel with something competitive on it!
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