MOORE — Keilani Ricketts just wanted more time. That’s what the former Oklahoma pitcher said was the obstacle that kept her from playing for the USA Softball Women’s National Team at the World Cup of Softball last week in Oklahoma City.
“It’s really tough,” Ricketts said. “I had planned everything around playing for Team USA this summer. Of course I love playing in Oklahoma City in front of all the Sooner fans. I’m sad I can’t be there with the team.”
USA Softball national teams director Ronnie Ishim said it was Ricketts decision to not play. Ricketts said that’s not the case. According to her, it was Team USA who told her she could not be on the field unless she signed a long-term contract with the organization.
“I was always committed for playing out the entire summer,” Ricketts said. “I had told Ronnie Ishim and I had told coach Ken Erickson that I was going to need the summer before I made any long-term decisions. We talked last week and they told me they wanted me to make a decision with the long-term contract before this summer even happens.
“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 quit the team, but that wasn’t the case.”
However, Ishim was asked Thursday if Ricketts could return to the team if she committed through next year’s world championships.
“We’d be a fool if we didn’t take her up on that,” Ishim said. “Nobody was going to sign a contract to play on this team. I think the contract actually had to do with being a representative of ASA Softball.”