The all-important region stretch run has begun for the Lady Longhorn softball team.
Over the course of the next two weeks, the team will play nine Grand Canyon games including double headers in Page (April 16) and on PHS diamond (April 23) against Chinle.
The outcome of the nine games will determine whether the Lady Horns (1-1 in the GCR) advance to the 4A state tournament.
The stretch of games begins today at Flagstaff Coconino. Game time is 3:30 p.m.
The regular season culminates April 29 on Longhorn field with one of the most anticipated and well attended sports events of the spring season-- the team's annual fund-raising barbecue dinner.
An afternoon highlight, in addition to jayvee (3:30 p.m.) and varsity (7 p.m.) clashes against Coconino, will be the annual deep pit barbecue prepared by Albert and Charlene Hunt.
The Hunts' outdoor cooking is legendary. The duo will begin the cooking process two days before the event by stoking up a carefully prepared oak wood fire in a deep pit.
Cooking the beef requires almost a full cord of wood. About 5 p.m. the day before to the meal, the beef is wrapped in burlap and lowered into the pit. After being covered with rocks, the beef will be left to cook until about 2 p.m. the following day.
"It's a long process, but well worth it," Charlene said.
The lip-smackin' meal is scheduled to be served from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. near the softball field concession stand.
Tickets are $5 per person, and are on sale now. They are available from any softball player or by calling Will Dunman at (928) 472-2266 or Kadi Tenney at (928) 468-1838.
This year's benefit is sponsored by Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty which contributed 300 pounds of beef for the barbecue.