Before Pennsbury's softball season even started, the team's seven seniors knew which games they looked forward to the most.
"Neshaminy," said all seven: Christina Bascara, Taylor Boltersdorf, Val Buehler, Michelle George, Jess Greenewald, Mackenzie Obert, and Suzanne Swanicke. Most of them smiled when they said it, imagining the games before they could even step on the diamond.
As a matter of fact, these girls have always looked forward to Neshaminy-Pennsbury showdowns in the Suburban One League's National Conference. No regular-season games have stakes as high, and the two programs have built up quite a rivalry over the years.
Obert, a shortstop, remembers that it was the same when her sister Kristilyn, who graduated in 2004 and is now an assistant at Pennsbury, played for the Falcons.
Neshaminy (16-1, 13-0 league) and Pennsbury (15-2, 11-1) are ranked first and second in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer. Their games always seem to have a lot at stake, but on Monday night the two squads will join to raise money for a Bristol child who has cancer.
The Falcons made shirts for the game and have taken to social media to get the word out, trying to get as many fans in the stands as possible for the home game.
"We love to play against them, but the big thing is coming together and helping the community," Obert said. "They beat us last time. We know we want to come out there and beat them."
She said that games against the Redskins really get the adrenaline pumping.
The previous meeting of the two powerhouses was a back-and-forth battle that featured five home runs. The Redskins defeated the Falcons, 6-4, despite giving up four long balls.
It is the only loss in the league for Pennsbury this season.
"We are a good-hitting team, they are a good-hitting team," Obert said. "The little things will win games. We are pretty good at that."
Obert stressed the importance of getting consecutive hits and putting runners on base, saying that even bloopers can change a team's energy.
If the Falcons win, they will be cochampions of the National Conference with the Redskins. A Redskins win will solidify a Neshaminy title.
"Hopefully, we will have the luck on our side this time," Obert said.
Last week's rankings in parentheses.
1. Neshaminy (1) 16-1
2. Pennsbury (2) 15-2
3. C.B. East (3) 13-3
4. H.-Horsham (4) 13-3
5. Pennridge (5) 12-5
6. C.B. South (6) 12-5
7. Con.-Egan (7) 13-5
8. Nazareth Ac. (8) 15-1
9. Henderson (NR) 18-0
10. St. Hubert (9) 15-3
Under consideration (listed alphabetically): Haverford (14-2), North Penn (10-7).