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Oklahoma softball: Sooners add new talent to already loaded lineup

OU returns three All-Americans, but newcomers like Shelby Pendley are getting plenty of attention for the Sooners, who finished as the Women's College World Series runner-up last season.
by Trent Shadid Published: February 7, 2013

The accomplishments of those returning standouts are impressive.

Ricketts was the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year after posting a 37-9 record in the circle, and a .395 average at the plate.

Shults also brought home a major award last season, as she was named Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year.

Then there's Chamberlain, who set the Big 12 single-season home run record with 30 during her freshman season.

Ricketts and Shults have both recognized what the new talent can do for their team.

“We have a lot of freshman coming in, and they're stepping up,” Ricketts said. “That makes practice very competitive and that should carry over into an advantage in the games as well.”

“This whole freshman class is a great group of girls. They have speed, they have power, and all of them are pushing for a spot in the lineup. It's awesome at practice to see that competition,” Shults said.

For Shults, the newcomers represent a fresh start with an improved team. After falling one win short of a national title eight months ago, Shults insists the Sooners are ready to put that in the past and focus on what they can accomplish this season.

“Everyone harps on last season, but this is a new season. We have eight fresh faces that are definitely going to bring a lot to the table,” Shults said.

“I'm excited to get ready with this group and work hard every day to reach our expectations.”

by Trent Shadid
Copy Editor
Trent Shadid is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Weatherford, Okla., and attended Weatherford High School. Before joining The Oklahoman, he spent two seasons as an assistant wrestling coach at Weatherford High...
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