May 24, 2012
With a successful record season behind them, the Arizona Women's softball team hopes to continue their momentum going in to the Norman Super Regionals against the Oklahoma Sooners on Friday, May 25th. The Wildcats are out for revenge after being defeated by the Sooners last season to end their World Series hopes after advancing every year since 1987.
For Junior Brigette Del Ponte, the rematch against the Sooners is more than revenge; it's a chance for the Wildcats to celebrate on the Oklahoma field just like the Sooners were able to do at Hillenbrand in 2011.
"It was a terrible feeling watching them celebrate on our home field," Del Ponte said. "I'm glad we got the opportunity to play them again this year so we can get revenge. It's going to be such a big deal if we beat them. It's going to be both a trip to the World Series and proving everybody wrong."
Some may speculate that the Wildcats don't stand a chance against the Oklahoma ace pitcher, Keilani Ricketts, after her stellar performance in the previous matchup against the Wildcats in the 2011 Super Regionals. Del Ponte, however, knows her team has what it takes to change the outcome this year.
"This year is different," Del Ponte said. "We have video and we're going to do our homework. I think we're all pretty pumped and excited to get the opportunity to beat them. We all know what we need to do and we know where the ball is coming." With the added pressure of facing Ricketts, Del Ponte believes the Wildcats have the talent and confidence to break her strides.
"I definitely feel more pressure when facing an ace like Ricketts," Del Ponte said. "It's just going in to the batter's box, relaxing and breathing and putting the bat on the ball. As a team, we're doing great and our energy is fantastic. We're playing ball like we should and it's the best time of the season to play like we are." The Wildcats will go in to the Super Regionals as the underdog, but Coach Candrea believes his team thrives while being underestimated. Del Ponte knows what it will take to be successful against the Sooners and she hopes her team can come out on top and earn their way to the World Series.
"They're the ones with something to lose and we have something to prove," Del Ponte said. "We need to keep our energy high, put the bat on the ball and go with pitches and turn on them if we need to."