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'Why not us?' | Harker Heights softball fueled by underdog mentality in playoffs

The Harker Heights softball team is making history for Killeen ISD with an improbable playoff run.

HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas — "Why not us?" 

That's the question that echoes off the diamond at Harker Heights High School.

“This is a first for this school, this is the first for the Killeen ISD whole school district for softball," manger Kye Robertson said. 

The Knights softball team is coming off an area championship in Division 6A Region 2. They have made it further than any other team in Killeen ISD history in softball, and they are far from done. 

"Teams that have not made it this far don't have a program with established wins and wins and pretty much telling the girls why not us and we take it one game at a time," Robertson said. "We are very talented, we know that. Working together, playing together, they're gonna see what comes of that." 

The team is fueled by nine seniors, a mix of young talent and a fiery fan base that drums, sings and overpowers stadiums. 

This has not always been the way Harker Heights softball operated, and senior catcher Rozalyn Simmons has not forgotten what was previously thought about this team. 

"Yeah, they’re good, but they're not up there," she said. "Heights, they’re probably gonna lose out, Heights is the smart school, they’re not good at sports, so it’s always been, maybe next year for Heights.”

The school opened in 2000. They went to the playoffs in 2004 and then broke a 17-year drought in 2021. This year marks just their third trip. 

"We’ve made it this far so we should keep pushing, prove people wrong," sophomore pitcher Nevaeh Brown, who had 24 strikeouts over the weekend, said. 

They are all asking each other the same question. 

"Why not us?" 

“Why can’t we do it?" Robertson asked. "Why can’t a school from Killeen ISD do it, they really bought in on it, and really look at it, you just play the game.”

They have a chance to prove that this underdog mentality works this week as they face Mansfield Lake Ridge in the Regional Quarterfinals. 

Game one will be played Wednesday at Harker Heights at 7 p.m. Game two will be played away at 7 p.m. and a potential Game three will be played at Tarleton State. 

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