The Border War may just be alive — on the softball field.
The Kansas softball team is headed to Missouri this weekend for an NCAA regional in Columbia, where the 15th seeded Tigers will play host to a four-team pod that also features Nebraska and Bradley.
Missouri will open against Bradley at 3 p.m. Friday, while Kansas will face former Big 12 foe Nebraska in the first game at 12:30 p.m., so the Tigers and Jayhawks may never meet. But if they do, it will be the first meeting between the two schools — in any team sport — since Missouri left for the SEC in 2012.
So break out the softball trash talk.
“We wanted to keep the tradition going,” Missouri junior Corrin Genovesetold Rivals.com
, speaking about the rivalry. “They backed out, they felt disrespected. But for us to be the first team to play them after that went down, I think it's a big statement game. KU's done everything they can to avoid us the last couple years playing, so they might lose the first round, you never know.”
Those words could stoke the fires of a rivalry, one that has been dormant for the better part of two years. While Missouri has expressed a general willingness to restart the series in men's basketball and football, KU has been steadfast in its position: No.
A postseason softball game may not mean much in the grand scheme of the Border War, but interest will certainly be ratcheted up.
Kansas, 32-21, advanced to an NCAA Regional for the first time since 2006, while Missouri, 41-16, is playing host to a regional for the sixth straight season.
“For the last five years, every player and staff member has worked extremely hard for this moment,” KU softball coach Megan Smith said.
Now the moment may just include an old rival.
“We haven't played them in two years,” Mizzou coach Ehren Earleywine told Rivals. “I wish that that rivalry was renewed and we could play them every year. That would be so cool.”