Is Keilani a Cat-Replacement?

Will Keilani Ricketts Ever Fill Cat Osterman's Cleats? 

By TSC Analyst/Contributor DANIEL URBAN   

ROSEMONT – Keilani Ricketts, the reigning NCAA champion pitcher out of Oklahoma, was one of the most heralded prospects to come out of college in recent memory—a true "can't miss" player at the pro level.  Keilani held out of the NPF for the majority of the 2013 season but was ultimately signed by the USSSA Pride and played reasonably well with them in the playoffs en route to a Cowles Cup championship for the Pride.

With only a year or two (at best) left for ace pitcher Cat Osterman before retirement, the Pride are hoping to slot in Keilani as "Cat 2.0" and keep up their high level of play.  But is Keilani really a Cat replacement?  I am not so sure.

Yes, Keilani had a good couple of games in playoffs, especially her game 3 performance against the Bandits in the Championship Series, but the Pride still had to call in Cat to shut down the game when it looked like the Bandits were ready to start a rally.

And Ricketts's numbers were not exactly "Cat-like" in the NPF playoffs.  Ricketts pitched 11 innings and struck out 13 with a 1-1 record and 1.27 ERA.  Compare that to Cat's 16 innings pitched and 21 strikeouts with a 2-0 record and 0.00 ERA.

Ricketts was good but not Cat-good.  And while Cat's numbers stacked up well with those of defeated Monica Abbott, Ricketts were slightly behind.

Is Keilani a Cat-replacement?  I am not sold yet.  The Pride better hope that Keilani can take that extra step as a pro or the NPF may be "Monica's League" as soon as Cat hangs up her cleats for good. Read more.