North Little Rock’s last three games were decided in the final innings, but the Lady Charging Wildcats came on the short end winning one and losing two.
The two losses were critical as the Lady Wildcats (11-4) lost to 7A-Central teams. Last Thursday, they suffered a 6-2 setback to Bryant and lost to Cabot, 9-4, in extra innings this past Tuesday which moved their conference record to 4-2. Last Friday, North Little Rock defeated Rogers, 9-8, in 10 innings.
“They were all good games,” North Little Rock Coach Jason Houle said. “We imploded the last innings, and a few plays here and there would have made a difference. That’s just how the ball falls.”
Against Cabot, the teams were tied at four after seven innings. However, the Lady Panthers piled up five runs in the top of the eighth on two errors, two walks and two doubles. The Lady Wildcats had a chance to not send the contest to extra innings after Anna Beaver led off the bottom of the seventh on a single to centerfield, but North Little Rock couldn’t get her home.
“We had one on and no outs and didn’t execute,” Houle said. “In extra innings, they got a couple of hits and people on base, and we bobbled the ball and imploded.”
Against Rogers, Reagan Sperling hit a walk-off three run home run in the bottom of the tenth inning to give North Little Rock the victory. After seven innings, the contest was tied at 2-all. Both teams tallied three runs in the ninth for a 5-5 deadlock. Rogers then scored three runs in the top of the 10th for an 8-5 lead before Lily Douglas scored and Sperling homered in the bottom.
In the Bryant contest, the Lady Wildcats trailed 3-2 going into the seventh inning, but the Lady Hornets recorded three runs with two outs in the top of the frame for the 6-2 win. Their two-out rally was propelled by two North Little Rock errors and two doubles.
“This doesn’t concern me,” Houle said. “We beat Rogers, and they defeated Cabot the next day, 5-0. Hopefully, this makes us better.”
The Lady Wildcats begin the second half of the conference season Friday at Little Rock Central. Unless something happens, they should qualify for the 7A state tournament and are focusing on getting a higher seed.
“We need to take care of business and try to beat Bryant and Cabot when we come back to them,” Houle said. “Seeding is a big deal. You have to beat everybody, but we would like to face the tougher teams in the semifinals or finals.”