OU softball: Sooners, Arizona to square off in Super Regional this weekend
The No. 4 Oklahoma softball team opens up super regional action against No. 17 Arizona at 1 p.m. Friday in Norman. This is OU’s second time in the program’s history to host a super regional, the first coming in 2007.
The Sooners, who swept their regional opponents last weekend, became one of the eight super regional teams to host the second round of this year’s NCAA tournament due to the overwhelming success OU had in the Big 12 Conference this year, OU coach Patty Gasso said.
“We kicked up the momentum late in the season, and our success put us in a good position to be able to host two rounds of the (NCAA) tournament,” Gasso said. “We worked hard to get we are, and being selected to host one of the eight super regionals shows that we have what it takes to be one of the top eight teams in the country right now.”
And those sentiments are felt among players in the OU locker room, too.
“We came off regionals confident, but we know that Arizona is going to be a tough opponent,” Ricketts said. “But we’ve been focused this week because we only have one opponent to focus on one team rather than worrying about three of them.”
But the Wildcats won’t be a walk in the park.
Arizona is led at the plate by freshman outfielder Hallie Wilson, who is hitting .354 with 64 hits this season. The Wildcats as a team are hitting for a combined .303 average this year and average 7.9 hits a game.
However, the Sooners come into this series with the nation’s best combined ERA (1.19), along with the Big 12’s home-run record holder — freshman first baseman Lauren Chamberlain — and All-American junior pitcher Keilani Ricketts, who leads the team with a .406 batting average.
The winner of this weekend’s best-of-three series will move on to the 2012 Women’s College World Series next weekend at Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
The teams also will meet at 11 a.m. Saturday with the if-necessary game scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Sunday.