Mike Candrea is more comfortable with this year's version of the Arizona Wildcats than he was last season, when the UA lost the super regional round to Oklahoma.
The Wildcats fly today to Norman, Okla., to face the same Sooners in a best-of-three series starting Friday.
"I don't think you can go into a series like that trying to get revenge," he said. "I think what happened in the past, that was a completely different team than what is on the field right now.
"I think we're a much better team than we were at this time last year, in just about every area.
"In that regard I feel much better. It's a good matchup."
Last season, Oklahoma pitcher Keilani Ricketts allowed one extra-base hit over two games.
The Sooners won 6-0 and 5-2 to keep Candrea out of the Women's College World Series for the first time in 22 years.
"We have video; we're going to do our homework this year," third baseman Brigette Del Ponte said. "I think we're all pretty pumped and excited to get the opportunity to beat them. We know what to do. We know where the ball's coming."
The junior said she has "respect" for the No. 4-seeded Sooners (48-8), but No. 13 Arizona (38-17) is out for revenge.
"They are the ones with something to lose," Del Ponte said, "and we're the ones with something to prove."
• Last year, Candrea compared Ricketts to former Wildcats star Alicia Hollowell, only left-handed. What does Hollowell, now a UA assistant, make of the assessment?
"She's a tall, strong girl," Hollowell said. "She gets after it. She plays at a very high level. There could be a lot of similarities."
• The Wildcats will practice today on a side field at ASA Hall of Fame Complex, the home of the WCWS.
• The UA's preparation for Ricketts won't involve a left-handed batting practice pitcher. The Wildcats don't have one.