Though the Maumelle Lady Hornets had two regular-season games this week, the most important contest of the season happens Monday.
The Lady Hornets (11-12) finished competition in the 5A/6A-Central conference Tuesday and hosted Little Rock Parkview in a doubleheader. The crucial contest is Monday at 5 p.m. at Farmington in the first round of the 5A-West district tournament. Maumelle is the No. 4 seed from its half of the conference which includes Morrilton, Vilonia and Greenbrier. Farmington (19-7) is the top seed of Harrison followed by Alma and Clarksville. The winner advances to the 5A state tournament while the loser’s season ends.
Maumelle did play in a tournament at Farmington earlier in the season and defeated Fort Smith Southside, 8-2, and lost to Conway, 6-5. Lady Hornet Coach Jarred White is hoping the familiarity and success on that field earlier can carry over to Monday.
“We’ll have to hit the ball better and bunch some hits together,” White said. “We also can’t make many errors and need to keep the ground balls in the infield.”
The Lady Hornets ended up as the number four seed after a 5-0 loss to Morrilton last Thursday. In order to get the three seed they had to beat Morrilton by five runs. Because of a wet field, Maumelle’s scheduled doubleheader with Sylvan Hills last Tuesday was moved to Wednesday. The Lady Hornets lost 8-5 and 11-9, respectively. In the combination of both games, four home runs were belted with Becca Almond smashing two, and Cat McNeil and Maddison Thurman recording one each. At 9:50 p.m., the last doubleheader was called.
“We were exhausted,” White said. “In the first game, we didn’t start hitting the ball until the last innings. At Morrilton, once they jumped out to a 3-0 lead, we started making strategy to keep runs from scoring but didn’t hit well enough. We knew what we had to do and didn’t take care of business.”
Last Friday, Maumelle suffered a 3-0 setback to Vilonia. The Parkview contests were senior night for Almond, McNeil, Taylor Martin and Jordan Cambell and probably ended in victories which means the Lady Hornets finished with a 12-2 record and second place in that conference. If that was their base conference, they would be going to state.
“We’ll finish second by a landslide,” White said. “It’s just kind of crazy.”