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Arizona-Oklahoma Super Regional set for days games this weekend

Mike Candrea will have to find a way for his hitters to solve OU ace Keilani Ricketts. Photo by Andy Morales, TucsonCitizen.com

The NCAA has announced the days and times for the NCAA Super Regionals for softball, with Arizona set to play nationally televised day games at Oklahoma on Friday and Saturday.

The best-of-three regional will begin Friday at 1 p.m. in Norman. The second game of the series will start Saturday at 11 a.m., with a third game, if necessary, to begin at about 1:30 p.m.

ESPNU will televise the first game. ESPN will show Saturday’s game(s).

The winner of the Super Regional will advance to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City to play the winner of the Super Regional between two upstarts — Hofstra and South Florida.

Hofstra advanced through the regional hosted by No. 12 overall seed UCLA, while South Florida won the regional hosted by No. 5 Florida.

Arizona and Oklahoma are meeting for the fourth time in a Super Regional, all previously in Tucson. UA swept in 2005 and won in three games in 2008. The Sooners swept last season, winning 6-0 and 5-2.

OU pitcher Keilani Ricketts won both games, allowing a combined 15 hits in 14 innings, striking out 20 and walking four.

Ricketts, a left-handed junior, is 31-7 this season with a 1.05 ERA. She also is hitting .406 and is a candidate for national player of the year.

“We absolutely know our challenge,” said Arizona coach Mike Candrea. “If you beat Ricketts, you beat Oklahoma. We have to try to figure something out.”

In addition to Arizona, four Pac-12 teams are among the 16 teams still alive in the softball postseason.

Top-seeded Cal will take on Washington. No. 3 seed Arizona State will be home against Louisiana-Lafayette (which features Arizona transfer Matte Haack, an infielder who is batting .335 with nine home runs). Oregon, seeded 11th, will travel to take on No. 6 Texas.

Related: Arizona heads to Super Regional, playing best ball of the season

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