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UPDATE: Ricketts Says She Wasn't Ready For Long-Term USA Deal

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University of Oklahoma Athletic Department
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Former University of Oklahoma standout pitcher KeilaniRicketts says USA Softball pressured her into signing a long-term contract before she was ready.

Ricketts announced on Twitter Tuesday night that she would not be playing with Team USA this summer.

She clarified her reasons in an interview with The Norman Transcript, saying Team USA told her she had to sign a long-term contract immediately in order to play.

"I told them I just didn't feel comfortable making a decision until after the summer was over. So they took that as a no. It sucks that it looks like I quite the team, but that wasn't the case."

Ricketts was selected fourth overall in April’s National Pro Fastpitch draft by the USSSA Florida Pride, along with former OU teammate Jessica Schults. She says she wanted to wait until after the summer before deciding whether to sign long-term deals with NPF or USA Softball.

From Ricketts's older sister Samantha, who also played for OU from  2006-2009:

The eighth World Cup of Softball starts Thursday in Oklahoma City. The loss of one of the tournament’s star players and key attractions for Oklahoma City fans puts the sport’s Olympic future on even shakier ground.

Softball was eliminated after the 2008 Games in Beijing. Ricketts says she wanted to wait on a decision with Team USA until after the International Olympic Committee meets in Argentina in September to consider adding softball and baseball, wrestling, or squash to the program for the 2020 Olympics.

The Norman Transcript reportsRicketts called USA Softball spokesman Ronnie Isham July 3 to say she was leaving. Isham called it a “business decision that did not include Team USA.”

When asked about what kind of business decision Ricketts had made, Isham said he knew what it might be, but it was “confidential.” Isham said Ricketts’ decision caught the USA Softball program off guard.

Two other Sooners remain on the U.S. roster – junior infielder Lauren Chamberlain and senior outfielder Destinee Martinez.

Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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