The Oklahoma Sooners added another arm to their pitching staff via the transfer portal. Though some other names have received a lot of buzz, Patty Gasso and Jennifer Rocha are bringing in Liberty transfer pitcher Karlie Keeney. Keeney announced her commitment to Oklahoma via Instagram.
As a junior in 2023, Keeney was an iron woman for the Flames, appearing in 48 games and throwing 261.2 innings. She was 27-12 with a 2.03 ERA and an opponents batting average of .229. Keeney threw 27 complete games, including five shutouts last season to help lead Liberty to the NCAA tournament.
Beyond the stat line, the name might be familiar. In Oklahoma’s second game of the 2023 season, Keeney shut out the Sooners for seven innings before allowing the game-winner in the bottom of the eighth inning when Jordy Bahl scored from second on an error.
On the season, Liberty ranked 105th in fielding percentage, committing 66 errors. For reference, the Oklahoma Sooners led the nation in fielding percentage, committing 19 errors on the year.
Keeney’s other most memorable start on the year came in the NCAA tournament, where again she was put to work. After losing to San Diego State (a game Keeney didn’t start), the Flames drew the unfortunate task of facing the UCLA Bruins in the losers’ bracket. Keeney was up to the task.
After allowing a solo home run to open the game to Megan Grant, Keeney settled in to shut the Bruins down. She scattered six more hits and allowed one walk the rest of the way to eliminate the No. 2 nationally seeded Bruins from the NCAA tournament.
She kept Liberty’s season alive with another one-run performance over seven innings against Grand Canyon before the Flames were eliminated by San Diego State in the final of the Los Angeles Regional.
So against Oklahoma and UCLA, the two teams that were ranked one and two for a vast majority of the 2023 season, Keeney allowed two runs, one earned, in 14 innings of work.
Keeney ranked No. 50 in D1Softball’s top 100, and here’s what they had to say.
Keeney was a true workhorse for Liberty. Her 261.2 innings pitched was the second-most in the entire nation. That translated into 27 wins last season, including victories against Alabama, Clemson and UCLA. Keeney’s heavy screwball and curveball approach led to a 52 percent groundball rate. Keeney is currently searching for her home for her last season via the transfer portal. – Brady Vernon, D1Softball
Keeney is an…