With Beth Mullins leaving Mississippi State to take the head coaching position at Troy, the Mississippi State Bulldogs needed to fill an assistant softball coach position, and head coach Vann Stuedeman announced the squad had done just that by bringing in former All-American and professional softball player Samantha Ricketts, who most recently coached at Wichita State.
"Coach Ricketts is a perfect fit for our softball family," Stuedeman said. "A prolific hitter in her own right, she made a profound impact at Wichita State as its batting average went from .231 to .314 in just three years with the Shockers.
"We are excited and optimistic about Samantha's arrival to MSU as she is a proven winner. She possesses the characteristics of a champion."
At Mississippi State, Ricketts will work with hitters and have game management and recruiting responsibilities.
In her three seasons at Wichita State, the Shockers went from a ninth place finish in 2012 to being the Missouri Valley Conference champions in 2014.
In addition to her coaching abilities, Ricketts had a standout collegiate career at Oklahoma. When she finished her career in 2009, she held the school record for home runs (48) and runs batted in (239), which also ranked first all-time in the Big 12. Additionally, she held the third all-time spot for Oklahoma for extra-base hits (97), total bases (444), slugging percentage (.645), and on-base percentage (.461).
After her college career, Ricketts became the 12th overall pick in the National Pro Fastpitch draft, playing for the Akron Racers from 2009 to 2010. She also served as graduate assistant coach on the Oklahoma staff from 2010 to 2011 before heading to Wichita State.
First official day as a Bulldog! Excited to join the @HailStateSB family and ready to get to work! #HailState— Samantha Ricketts (@Coach_Ricketts) July 21, 2014
EXCITING DAY TO BE A BULLDOG! Please extend a big maroon welcome to the new @HailStateSB hitting coach @Coach_Ricketts #BigThingsComing— Vann Stuedeman (@msuVANNtastic) July 21, 2014