Two of Oklahoma's top softball players are top 10 finalists for a big national honor.
OU's Keilani Ricketts and Lauren Chamberlain are finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award that recognizes outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country.
Chamberlain is the only freshman named a finalist and Ricketts is one of three juniors in the top 10. Oklahoma and Cal are the only two programs with two athletes on the finalists list. Five seniors and two sophomores comprise the remainder of the top 10 list for the award.
Chamberlain currently leads the Big 12 in home runs with an Oklahoma single-season record of 22, just two shy of the Big 12 single-season record and the third-best total in the nation. She also leads the conference with 49 runs scored, 58 runs batted in, 127 total bases and in slugging percentage with .852. In addition, Chamberlain ranks 10th with her 58 runs batted in.
Ricketts leads the Sooners in the circle with a record of 26-6 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) and ERA. Ricketts leads the Big 12 in wins, strikeouts and opposing team's batting average, holding opponents to just a .155 clip at the plate.
At the plate, the two-time All-American is third on the Sooner squad with 14 home runs while leading the Big 12 with an on base percentage of .554, a number 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 three finalists for the award will be announced May 23, while the winner of the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be revealed on May 29 prior to the start of the NCAA WCWS in Oklahoma City.
Now in its 11th year, 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 constantly cover Division I softball across the country.