It’s better to play than practice.
That is the philosophy of North Little Rock head softball coach Anthony Cantrell. He is holding true to that philosophy this week.
Three matches since Friday and three more in the next week have kept the Lady Charging Wildcats busy.
Not only is North Little Rock busy, but also they are enjoying a fair measure of success, and are putting up runs in bunches.
A 12-1 win over Searcy and a 16-0 drubbing of Little Rock Central have giving Cantrell cause to boast about his team’s offensive prowess.
Cantrell said if you ask him who his hottest hitter is right now, he doesn’t hesitate.
"Katy Kinnison is killing the ball," Cantrell said. "She is on fire."
From her five-hole spot in the order, Kinnison leads the Lady Charging Wildcats in homeruns with three, doubles (12), and runs batted in (24).
Down 6-3 to Greenbrier in the seventh inning, Kinnison smashed a double with the bases loaded to tie the game. Even though North Little Rock lost 11-6, Kinnison’s clutch hit kept her team in the game. The loss in eight innings was caused by a fluke infield defensive lapse when a batted ball hit a runner and was not called out.
"It just kind of snow balled from there," Cantrell said.
Sidney Parr leads the team in runs scored due in large part to Kinnison’s hot bat. But if she weren’t proficient at getting on base Kinnison’s RBI totals would be a shell of what they are.
"If Parr get’s on base," Cantrell said," she’s going to score."
Parr and Ashton Bobbitt, North Little Rock’s leadoff and No. 2 hitters have 16 and 17 walks respectively.
Add Kaylee Roberts, who has the speed to score from first on routine hits into the outfield, as a courtesy runner for the pitcher and catcher, and North Little Rock has potent scoring weapons on the base paths.
"Roberts was a two-year starter, and she was hurt," Cantrell said.
The Lady Charging Wildcats’ conference schedule is relatively young, but they are 6-0 so far with the meat of their schedule in front of them with Cabot and Mountain Home as well as Jonesboro looming.
If they can keep scoring, the Lady Charging Wildcats could be sitting pretty when state tournament time arrives.