The Sylvan Hills Lady Bears are enjoying some time off courtesy of the Helena-West Helena Lady Cougars.
Helena-West Helena dropped their softball program this season and Tuesday was the scheduled date for the Lady Bears to face the Lady Cougars.
The extra time has given head coach Justine Gladden a bit of time for reflection and practice.
Reflection on last week’s double header sweep of Jacksonville beating the Lady Red Devils 7-1 and 4-1. The sweep represents the conquering of what Gladden believed to be the top competition for the 5A-Central title.
Jacksonville is also where Gladden played high school softball and coached until taking the Lady Bears’ head coaching job. She was able to keep her emotions in check.
"I was glad we won," Gladden said. "I believe that was for the conference championship."
The 5A-Central is a bit down this season and the Lady Bears have but three conference series left against Little Rock McClellan on Thursday, Pulaski Academy on Monday and against North Pulaski in their league finale.
Conference matchups are just part of an incredibly busy week for the Lady Bears. They take on Morrilton, and White Hall.
Gladden said her club needs to amp up the competition level with the Lady Devil Dogs and the Lady Bulldogs; both made deep runs into the state tournament in 2012.
"We need the competition against good teams to help us get ready for the state tournament," Gladden said.
Gladden said it’s not unrealistic to go undefeated in next week’s torrid stretch.
The season is winding down. With postseason looming, and the conference title all but secured, Gladden is gearing her team toward a deep run in the state tournament themselves.