Commentary

Ricketts finishes career with 18U ASA title

Updated: August 11, 2009, 2:32 PM ET
By Garland Cooper | ESPNRISE.com

[+] EnlargeRicketts
Nestor Rojas for ESPNRISE.comKeilani Ricketts will pitch for the University of Oklahoma next year.

OKLAHOMA CITY -- In a week filled with international tiebreakers, close calls, late games and long days it was Sorcerer Gold-Phil that took home the 18U ASA National Championship at Hall of Fame Stadium.

With an impressive roster that features Oklahoma-bound pitcher Keilani Ricketts, Sorcerer Gold-Phil plowed through the 64-team competition, finishing 7-0 at the tournament with Ricketts pitching all 47 innings.

"It was really exciting because I knew our team was capable of winning a national championship, it was just a matter of us showing up," said Ricketts.

Ricketts and her teammates had to do more than show up in the final game against the Gold Coast Hurricanes, the reigning champions. The Hurricanes made the title game after battling through the losers' bracket and winning nine consecutive games.

The Hurricanes simply ran out of gas and were no match for The Sorcerer, who were as focused as ever.

Said Ricketts: "I thought I'd be nervous going into the championship game but I wasn't; I just focused on pitching well like I had throughout the week."

The Sorcerer held a 2-0 lead after four innings, but the Hurricanes pushed across a run in the fifth to tighten the game. The Sorcerer answered with a run in the seventh and a confident Ricketts finished strong to seal the championship.

"I was confident that my team could still hold them and then once we got that extra run, I felt confident we would win," she said.

Ricketts was unstoppable during the tournament. In 47 innings, she struck out 58 batters while also batting .444 with six RBIs including three hits in the title game.

With the summer season ending, so too does Ricketts' high school career. She left Hall of Fame Stadium and traveled to Norman, Okla., to move into her new home at the University of Oklahoma.

"It's really great to end my career winning nationals," said Ricketts. "It has been great being on such a fun and competitive team."

With the Women's College World Series less than a year away, it's possible Ricketts could be back at Hall of Fame Stadium looking to take home another title.

"I hope so." Ricketts said. "I think we will be capable of it, and that would be really awesome."

Garland Cooper covers high school softball for ESPN RISE.