Ricketts doesn't need a photo though. She remembers Sydney Angle.
“I remember her face but I don't remember when we took the picture together,” Ricketts said. “There's just something about it I feel like I have a connection with her. It's kind of cool because as we play for Oklahoma, we're kind of playing for her as well.”
Over the past couple weeks, Gasso watched Ricketts put more pressure on herself. Gasso called her starting pitcher a “people pleaser” who wants to be “perfect.” On Saturday, Ricketts' greatest challenge was in the top of the first when, with one out, she gave up two singles to put runners on first and second.
She calmly and precisely struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
“There's great expectations on her,” Gasso said. “Everyone knows. Everyone is calling her the greatest pitcher to play the game, or one of the best. ... She wants to make everyone happy and think that. She does put some unnecessary pressure on herself so to see her relax and go back to what she knows, I felt that this weekend.”
It was all because of that moment when a photo captured a star pitcher and a little fan who dreamed of pitching. Now Sydney Angle's memory is propelling Ricketts back to ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
“Just to know I had an effect on someone that young that lost their life,” Ricketts said. “Just knowing I inspired someone like that, it was inspiring to me.”