Communities unite to support local girls on Auburn softball team

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ATHENS AND LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Lots of north Alabama TVs were locked on softball as two local ladies competed for a national championship, making a usually divided area Auburn fans for the night.

Auburn University women's softball took on Oklahoma for Game 3 for the Women’s College Softball Champion title.

"A lot of [University of] Alabama fans and other fans are cheering for Auburn right now because of Victoria [Draper] in Moulton and Whitney [Jordan] in Athens," said Cassidy Kerby. She is best friends with Whitney Jordan. She also played softball with her at Athens High.

The successful season also brought more attention to the sport the two girls love so much.

"It's been exciting," said Jackie Burch of the Lawrence County school board who also helped coach Draper for 6 years. "I've been able to go down and watch her play 3 or 4 times this year. When [people] find out you got several local girls from north Alabama, it makes you want to tune in and watch."

"I've always watched the Women College World Series so it's just crazy to watch someone you know and love and that you're very close to get this far," said Kerby.

"Whitney and Victoria grew up playing against each other," said Draper's family friend Scott Jones. "They were both very competitive and we're just glad they're doing well."

"Every year they were battling for the [high school] regional championship," recalled Kerby. "I remember one time, Whitney played shortstop, Victoria slid into Whitney's ankles at second base and cleated her."

Despite that little run-in, the longtime rivals now wear the same colors and compete together.

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"Everyone wants to see their two hometown girls bring it home to them," said Kerby.

In downtown Moulton, Drapers church, Moulton Methodist, hosted a small watch party for community members, as did 42 Pizza on the courthouse square.

"What we try to do here is showcase local, athletes," said 42 Pizza owner Jamie Weatherwax. "When you have someone on TV, it resonates with people like 'hey, that's our local star.'"

Learn the outcome of the game here.

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