Chamberlain, Ricketts named as finalists
Both Lauren Chamberlain and Keilani Ricketts have been named as finalists for USA Softball Player of the Year, along with Tennesee’s Raven Chavanne.
It is just the second time a school has put two athletes into the Top 3, after UCLA did it in 2002. Ricketts, who won the honor last year and was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, is second in the country with 15 shutouts this season and holds a 29-1 record. She would become just the third athlete to win the award more than once.
Chamberlain is well on pace to break the NCAA home run mark, and as followed up a record-breaking debut season a year ago with just as impressive of a sophomore season.
With Texas A&M in town for the Super Regional, Chamberlain said she appreciates the recognition but isn’t paying close attention to it.
“It’s exciting news but nothing changes,” she said. “There’s not any extra pressure on me.”
Casey riding streak
OU sophomore Georgia Casey has caught fire down the stretch. She is batting .433 over the last 19 games and is on a career-best 14-game hitting streak dating back to a late-April game against Texas. She’s also hit safely in 18 or her last 19 games.
It’s the longest such streak since Amber Flores also hit safely in 14 straight games in 2009. Casey will look to surpass that mark against Texas A&M today.
Baylor pitching prepares Aggies
Facing down one of the country’s top pitchers in Baylor’s Whitney Canion last week was the best possible preparation before facing OU’s Keilani Ricketts today, Texas A&M coach Jo Evans said.
“They’re not the same pitcher, but there are some similarities,” she said. “That’s prepared us for this.”