For the Pierce City and Purdy softball teams all the hard work of the 2010 season comes down to the next three days.
"It's win or go home," said Purdy Head Coach Jeff Swadley. "A team needs to start playing its best ball right now. We play in an extremely tough district. There are three or four teams capable of winning this tournament."
After capturing its first Spring River Valley Conference title, Pierce City is heading into the tournament with the opportunity to do something no other Lady Eagles team has done, win a district crown.
"I think winning the district championship would show that all the hard work we have put in this year has paid off," said Pierce City Head Coach Darin Henderson. "I think we have proven that when we run, hit and catch the ball we can beat anyone."
The Lady Eagles come into this tournament as the #1 overall seed.
"I think being the overall first seed is important," Henderson said "It keeps us away from two really good squads (Purdy and Diamond) and only forces us to win two games. The important thing for us is to approach the games the same way we approached games in the regular season."
Purdy is peaking at the right time. The Lady Eagles are heading into the district tournament as the second seed. The Lady Eagles have won six straight games, including a 4-2 decision over Pierce City. During that stretch the only runs Purdy has allowed were the two scored by Pierce City.
"We are hitting the ball as well as anyone right now," Swadley said. "The seniors on our team won a district championship as freshmen. They have been runners-up the last two years. I think it would be a nice send off to win the championship.
"I don't think there is anything I can tell these girls to help them get ready, that they don't already know," Swadley said. "We always try to follow the K.I.S.S method (Keep It Simple Stupid) we are going to play like it's any old regular season game. We're just playing for a bigger trophy."
Pierce City will play the winner of Southwest-Sarcoxie at 4 p.m. Thursday. Purdy will entertain College Heights at 5 p.m. today. All games will be played in Purdy