WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Archer City and Windthorst is one of the best rivalries in Texoma.
This year, the rivalry on the softball diamond carries a bigger meaning with the winner advancing to the state tournament.
But this series isn’t just special for the players.
“We go way back," Archer City head coach Mallory Mooney said. "We played at Midwestern for three seasons, two of our best seasons at Midwestern we went to world series; my junior year and her senior year.”
“We actually have a little thing where we shake and bake because I was always behind her in the batting lineup," Windthorst head coach Alyson Deatherage said. "So that’s kind of what we called it but we are still really good friends.”
Both players were stars at Midwestern State.
Deatherage, then Alyson Reynolds, was a beast of a five-hole hitter launching ten homers her final season while being nearly perfect at first base.
Mooney has a long list of accolades from her time as a mustang, including being a third team All-American third baseman and three-time All-Lone Star Conference selection.
Now, they return to the old stomping grounds as coaches, but this isn’t the first time Mooney has coached in this exact situation.
“Well it was a best two out of three," Mooney remembering the 2016 regional final match up. “Windthorst was definitely the favorites that year, they swept us in district, we played them at graham and we shocked them beating them 5-0. Then we had to come to Midwestern the next day, I think we lost 4-3 and they forced a game three and they took over.”
Deatherage was also there that year, but she was in the press box working for the MSU sports information department and she still remembers the atmosphere from that 2016 series.
“I remember the last time it was standing room only probably six feet... or six rows deep off the fence and it’s just a crazy atmosphere," Deatherage said. "It’s what you want as a coach and a player you want to play in. That’s the whole purpose.
I think the girls are going to be really excited and it’s just a real special game.”
The situation is a little different this year.
Windthorst and Archer City split the season series, winning one game a piece.
But the crowd should be great at Midwestern State and a trip to state is on the line for the winner.
Game 1: 5 p.m. Thursday
Game 2: 4 p.m. Friday
Game 3: 30 minutes after