FARMINGTON — For the majority of their high school careers and for many summers before high school, Piedra Vista's Danielle Ortiz and Tabor Woosley, Aztec's Alix Johnson and Angela Minjarez, Kirtland Central's Kanani Tapaha and Farmington's Erika Bradley have seen each other as foes on the softball diamond. But this weekend the six softball standouts will take the field as teammates.
The six girls were named to the North team for the 2014 North/South Class 5A/4A Softball All-Star Series held both Friday and today at the Farmington Sports Complex.
"I feel honored to be on this team," Woosley said. "You're playing with the best of 4A and 5A, and you're going to be good if you're going to be on this team. You don't work all year for nothing."
Johnson and Minjarez confirmed Woosley's thoughts on being named to team, saying that receiving recognition for all their hard work is worth the pain they put into the sport.
"Just knowing that we made it I think is pretty awesome," Minjarez said. "It's nice to know that you're one of the best."
"Well, second to PV," Johnson added, pointing to the fact that Ortiz and Woosley's Panthers beat the Tigers in the 4A State Championship each of the last three seasons.
But as the two Lady Tigers and two Lady Panthers have battled each other throughout their high school careers all four are quick to put the old rivalry behind them with the prospect of building new friendships.
The four girls said what they would most like most to come out of the All-Star weekend would be making friends out of old enemies.
"We've actually become really close," Woosley said of the entire group of all-stars. "We've only been together for one day but we've become so close."
"I feel like I've known them forever," Ortiz added. "Well, we basically have, but we've never actually talked, but I feel like I've known them personally forever."
While most of the girls participating during the weekend had to travel, Ortiz and Woosley are able to play the series on their home field, both a positive and a disappointment for the weekend.
Woosley said being able to travel for the series would be a fun experience, turning the weekend into a small vacation to start the summer, but both she and Ortiz said the advantages of playing at home are equal, if not better than a road trip.
"I'm glad it's here," Ortiz said. "We actually play on this field and in this environment, so I think we're more prepared."
"We've been here. I like it here," Woosley said. "I love having it here because we know the field, and having all your family and friends here is good."
For all the great things softball has brought the Aztec and Piedra Vista girls, and all the memories they've made playing with and against each other that they won't forget or regret, there is one thing the girls won't be missing, early morning workouts.
"Yeah, 5:45 (a.m.) weights, maybe," Ortiz said with an obvious tone of sarcasm.
"I don't think there is much to miss coming from a program like this," Woosley added.
The North All-Stars defeated the South team 12-5 in the opening game of the series. The results of Game 2 was unavailable at press time.
The two teams will play again today at 10 a.m.