The University of Oklahoma has placed a nation’s best three players among the 10 finalists for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced Wednesday.
Senior pitchers Keilani Ricketts and Michelle Gascoigne and sophomore infielder Lauren Chamberlain were all chosen as finalists for the award, which is considered the most prestigious honor in Division I women’s softball.
The defending USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, Ricketts is looking to become just the third player to take home multiple Player of the Year honors. This season, Ricketts is 25-1 with a 1.14 earned run average, which ranks fifth in the country. She has struck out 264 batters and walked just 42 in 172.0 innings of work. At the plate, Ricketts is hitting .389 with 11 home runs and 38 runs batted in. Her on-base percentage of .563 ranks eighth in the country.
Gascoigne, who has emerged this season to provide a stellar 1-2 punch with Ricketts, owns the second-best ERA in the country at 0.95 and boasts a record of 16-3. Gascoigne has 181 strikeouts and 25 walks in 117.1 innings pitched.
Chamberlain staked her claim as one of the best hitters last year as a freshman and hasn’t let up in her sophomore campaign. She ranks second in the country in runs per games (1.31) and slugging percentage (1.015), third in home runs per game (0.46) and fourth in both on-base percentage (.586) and walks per game (1.00). In addition, Chamberlain leads the Sooners with a .423 batting average. Twice this season Chamberlain has homered in four straight games to set a school record.