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Mississippi State hires Ricketts as softball head coach

STARKVILLE — Mississippi State didn’t look far to find its next softball head coach.

Samantha Ricketts, who helped the Bulldogs to some of the best offensive seasons in program history as an assistant, was hired Monday as the head coach.

Ricketts served as Mississippi State’s assistant coach from 2015-18, and was promoted to associate head coach in 2019. She’ll replace Vann Stuedeman, who announced she was leaving the program earlier this month.

Ricketts will be formally introduced at a press conference Thursday morning.

With Ricketts serving as hitting coach, Mississippi State set a number of school records. The Bulldogs were one of only two teams this season, along with Arizona, to have multiple hitters with 20 or more home runs. The Bulldogs set the team record with 72 home runs.

“It became clear during our search that Samantha Ricketts was the right fit to lead Mississippi State softball,” Mississippi State Director of Athletics John Cohen said in a release. “Samantha’s vision, national recruiting experience and her ability to teach the game were the biggest factors in our decision. She has been one of the most sought-after rising stars in the nation.”