Two Grady County softball rivals find themselves on opposite sides of the 4A fast-pitch state championship bracket, meaning they could meet in the final.
Tuttle and Blanchard will both start play in the state tournament on Thursday, along with Chickasha who are competing for the 5A title. The Lady Lions start the day against Tecumseh at 11 a.m. at the Ballfields at Firelake in Shawnee, with the Lady Tigers playing against Bethel in the next game.
Should Tuttle, under first-yeard head coach Jennifer Prince, and Blanchard, the 2011 fast pitch state champion, win those games and then win in the ensuing semifinal match-ups, they would meet each other in the 4A State Final on Saturday at 11 a.m.
"Our girls always get up against teams like Newcastle and Blanchard," Prince said. "If everyone plays like they are capable of playing, we'll be a tough team to beat. So, I think we stand a good chance."
Chickasha will try to return to the state final game for the second year in a row when they first play Tahlequah at 5 p.m. on Thursday. Should they progress, they'll meet Carl Albert or Lawton MacArthur in the semifinal on Friday at 2 p.m. The winner of that game could face either Deer Creek, Collinsville, Duncan or Claremore in the 5A state final at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The thought of playing a local rival in the 4A final is certainly a tempting prospect, but the Lady Tigers will have to pass through some unknown territory first, Prince said.
"We haven't played Tecumseh, and Bethel are a different team than the one we faced earlier," Prince said. "There's a lot of unknowns out there that worries me a little bit. But, there's definitely a little bit extra there. We want to beat Blanchard, for sure."