OKC’s new pro softball team comes out swinging.
This month, after the Women’s College World Series champions are crowned, the sport of softball will continue in the 405. The Oklahoma City Spark will start its inaugural season and bring professional women’s fastpitch softball to OKC and the metro, cementing the city’s status as Softball Capital of the World.
Women’s Professional Fastpitch Commissioner Lauren Chamberlain unveiled the Spark in 2022 as the league’s third out of four teams. WPF played its first season last year as the successor to National Pro Fastpitch, which ceased operations in 2021. According to the league, “WPF showcases the best athletes in softball, provides a world-class experience for fans and connects young fans to their idols.”
Tina and Robert Floyd—owners of Floyd’s RV in Norman, which is known for supporting Oklahoma students and schools—are the owners of OKC Spark. Tina is also a friend of OU softball coach Patty Gasso and hopes to keep the Spark community-based, according to The Tuttle Times.
OKC Spark will come out swinging during its season opener June 15 against the Smash It Sports Vipers at Gerry Pinkston Stadium on the University of Central Oklahoma campus. It is entering the league with a star-studded lineup of the most talented athletes in the sport, including OU legend Jocelyn Alo.
The outfielder was traded from the Smash It Sports Vipers to OKC Spark for the 2023 season. Alo currently holds the OU career record for hitting, on-base percentage, slugging, hits, runs, home runs, RBI, total bases and extra-base hits. And during her first year in WPF, she already hit the most career home runs in the league and was second for walks and games played in the season.
Alo was the only player in NCAA Division I history to finish the season (2022) with a batting average over .500 and more than 30 home runs. She was also the first player in NCAA Division I history to hit 30 or more home runs in three different seasons — 2018, 2021 and 2022.
Joining Alo is former OU teammate and OU captain Lynnsie Elam, a catcher from Chickasha who hit .300 through 215 games with the Sooners from 2018 through 2022 and was a crucial member of OU’s national title teams in 2021 and 2022.
Keilani Ricketts will also join the Spark as a starting pitcher for the 2023 season. Ricketts played as a member of Team USA in summer 2012 and on the 2011 United States Women’s National team. She also helped Team USA win silver at the 2012 ISF XIII Women’s World Fastpitch Championship, going 4-0 with a 1.04 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 27 innings while hitting .429 with one home run and 4 RBIs.
On April 17, the Yale Theater in Oklahoma City’s Historic Capitol Hill hosted WPF’s first college draft. Chamberlain and Tina Floyd announced the OKC Spark’s No. 1 overall pick: OU pitcher Alex Storako, who will join Alo, Elam and Ricketts as another Oklahoma softball star keeping her talents in the state. It wouldn’t be a tough pitch to declare the state of Oklahoma as softball’s home.
For more information about the team, schedules and pricing, visit okcspark.com.