Every time Highland seems to be on the verge of winning a Golden League championship, Quartz Hill is standing in the way.
Today, Highland can clinch a share of its first league title when it hosts Quartz Hill.
The Rebels (16-6, 7-1) have defeated Highland (16-7, 7-1) seven consecutive times.
The dominance has been as much mental as physical, with Quartz Hill finding every conceivable way of breaking the Bulldogs' hearts.
The Rebels' last four league victories over the Bulldogs have come in extra innings, including a 1-0 game in eight innings on April 20.
"We feel like there's a monkey on our backs and we really want to get him off of it," Coach Glenda Potts said.
If Quartz Hill wins again today, it will clinch a share of its fifth consecutive league championship and its ninth in 11 seasons.
Ten Rebels are batting higher than .300, five better than .400.
Mandi Ricker (14-3) has developed into a worthy successor to two-time Times Valley player of the year Jodie Cox, now at Cal State Fullerton. Ricker, who has a 1.94 earned-run average, pitched a seven-hit shutout in her last outing against Highland.
Montclair Prep also is seeking its first league championship. The Mounties (16-4, 7-0) can clinch a share of the Delphic League title with a victory today over defending champion Whitney at Franklin Field.
Montclair Prep, which defeated Whitney in an earlier meeting, has climbed to No. 1 in the Southern Section Division VI rankings and excelled despite losing its starting catcher and having four freshmen in the starting lineup.
Freshman Nikki Schrader is batting .404 and has moved from shortstop to catcher, replacing junior Justine Haeussler, who left the team two weeks ago.
Brandy Hawkins, batting .414, Corie Greene (.277) and Porsche Dubose have formed an all-freshman outfield that has been solid behind Kentucky-bound pitcher Monique Lovell (16-4).