In stretches during the 2013 season, the Sylvan Hills Lady Bears have searched for games to no avail going nearly two weeks without head-to-head competition.
This week, the Lady Bears have played three games in two days getting in as much work before the 5A state tournament begins.
The results were mixed.
In an off-the-conference-books double header against Jacksonville, the Lady Bears continued their dominance of 5A-Central opponents sweeping the Lady Devils again 7-2, and 7-3.
The Lady Bears traveled south to Watson Chapel, and their luck against nonconference opponents continues to head south with a 5-2 loss to the Lady Wildcats.
"Honestly it was the best we’ve played against nonconference opponents," head coach Justine Gladden said. "We made an error that almost never happens and we had a wild pitch."
Gladden said only one run scored by Chapel could be considered earned.
The Lady Bears’ are no strangers to their first round opponents. The Morrilton Lady Devil Dogs defeated Sylvan Hills 3-0 earlier in the season.
What will it take for the Lady Bears to reverse their fortune?
"We have to hit the ball," Gladden said. "Our pitching and defense, overall, is solid. We have to put the bat on the ball and get our hits."
One can only look toward their last two days’ performance to qualify Gladden’s remarks. In two games against Jacksonville, seven runs each and scoring in multiple innings in both games. While against Watson Chapel, the Lady Bears struggled to get hits in key situations.
The Morrilton shutout was no different.
"If we get our hits, we have a chance to win," Gladden said.