OKLAHOMA CITY — Keilani Ricketts can get back on Team USA, maybe as soon as this week, certainly this summer, if she will commit to the national team for a period of two years, the same commitment Team USA coach Ken Eriksen said he has asked for and received from every other player on his roster.
That point was made clear by both Eriksen and USA Softball national teams director Ronnie Ishim following Team USA’s 7-0 victory over Canada Thursday night at the World Cup of Softball.
In fact, Ishim said he would take Ricketts back if she would only commit through next year’s ISF world championships, set to begin Aug. 13 in the Netherlands.
Of course, Eriksen and Ishim could have only been putting on their best public face, something USA Softball had failed to do ever since the story broke Tuesday that Ricketts, as of July 3, was no longer with the team.
But they didn’t appear to be playing damage control. They appeared to be very serious.
Eriksen was asked point blank if circumstances could change that would make way for Ricketts’ return.
“That’s a great question,” he said.
Ishim was asked point blank 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,” he said.
Ricketts, who spoke to The Transcript and other media outlets on Wednesday, had told a different story.
“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,” she said, adding that she had always been willing to commit for the entire summer.
Eriksen also addressed the contract issue after Thursday’s victory over Canada.
“Nobody was going to sign a contract to play on this team,” he said. “I think the contract actually had to do with being a representative of ASA Softball.”