With its 14-0 win over Pleasant Hill on Tuesday, Simpson is returning to Sulphur for the Class C State Playoffs for the second year in a row.

Making it to state and being atop the Class C standings has become a norm for the small school, a tradition that started years ago.

"They know about it," Simpson head coach Jessica Dooley said. "It's something we've stressed to the girls. We have this winning tradition. We have expectations for the players and coaches. We expect them to excel in everything that they do. They work hard, and they realize that winning is expected of them. That's the goal that they have in mind.

"All the girls on the team are hard workers. They will go above and beyond anything you ask them to do."

Most recently, the Simpson girls basketball team made it to state earlier this year, coming up short to No. 1 Plainview in the state semifinals.

Last softball season, Simpson fell in the quarterfinals, 3-1, to Plainview on its road to a state championship.

The No. 3 Lady Broncos have a chance to add to their trophy case, but step one is getting passed No. 6 Saline on Thursday at 5 p.m., following a nine-day break in between the district round and the quarterfinals.

"We are very excited. Of course, the girls are excited because we were there last year and we have a little bit of unfinished business," Dooley said. "They're just excited to get back and make a name for themselves. They have worked really hard this year.

"I think (the break) is a benefit. In those nine days, we are able to assess things that we've seen that the girls were struggling with at the end of the season and try to fine tune those things."

Simpson played top competition, in and outside of Class C, to prepare for a deep a playoff run and to make noise once it gets to state.

"You see any and all types of pitches that you could see when you get to Sulphur," Dooley said. "Anybody can pad their schedule and beat the teams you should be beat. I think it's important to play teams that make you play your best game if you plan on winning. Constantly putting girls in that situation will better prepare them more than scheduling games that they should win."

Simpson finished the season tied with Evans for the district title, and although a district championship is a big accomplishment for any school, the girls want more than that.

"They know that you can't take any game lightly, and it doesn't matter who your opponent is," Dooley said. "I've told them that, at this point in the season, if you lose, you go home. Before I finish my statement they say 'we're not ready to go home.' They know that they have to work hard and play to the best of their ability."