ARCHER COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - This week, one of Texoma's best rivalries meets yet again, this time on the softball field in our lone cross-Texoma series of this round of the playoffs.
There really aren't any secrets between Windthorst and Archer City. They play at least twice every year, and for the second-straight year they meet in the softball playoffs, this weekend in the Region I-2A Quarterfinals.
We caught up with both teams this week as they get ready for the matchup.
"We kinda know what they have," said Archer City junior 3rd baseman Hope Browning.
Windthorst head coach Lonnie Hise agrees with that assesment. "The one thing is, you know them," he said. "You know exactly where they're going to throw the ball, their hitting strengths, their defensive strengths."
"It's definitely disadvantage and advantage," said Archer City head coach Mallory Mooney. "[The] advantage is we know their hitters and we know how to throw to them. At the same time, they're seeing the same pitcher over and over again, so they start to figure it out. But it goes both ways."
The Trojanettes swept a Saturday double-header last year after a Game 1 loss to Archer in the Regional Finals, but this year the Lady Cats won both district meetings, so both teams have motivation.
"It's such a big motivation getting to play them again," said Windthorst senior catcher Emily Schroeder. "I mean, we didn't do the greatest against them in district, so it's awesome to get the chance to come back and redeem ourselves.
"Well since they beat us last year, that kinda gave us the motivation to come back and beat them again," Browning said. "For the seniors, I'm going to play every play my hardest that I can, just for them."
"It's big," Hise said. "And if you don't get enough motivation out of that, I don't think there's anything that's going to get you motivated."
Like the final two games of last year's series, this year's entire series will be played at Midwestern State's Mustangs Park. With two rabid fanbases each just about a half hour away, it should be a raucous atmosphere.
"It's great to be able to have fans from both teams," Schroeder said. "We know it's going to be a loud game, and it's going to be energetic."
"It's a confined area," Hise added. "It's not a lot of room to move around. It's a great facility, and it's fun to play in that atmosphere."
"When I played at Midwestern, we hosted Super Regionals," Mooney said. "The whole town came out in support. I know as a player, it motivated me because I didn't want to let my town down, so I know it's the same for them."
The series starts Thursday night at 6 p.m., then continues on Saturday with a late start to Game 2 at 7 p.m. with Game 3 to follow, if needed.