Not only are the North Little Lady Charging Wildcats playing in the 7A state title game for the fifth consecutive year, but they also have a rematch with Bentonville.
After winning three consecutive 7A championships, the Lady Wildcats (21-6) lost their bid last year for a four-peat after a 12-1 defeat to Bentonville. The two teams match up again at 10 a.m. Friday for the 7A state title at Bogle Field on the University of Arkansas campus.
“We have girls who have been there and no what it is like to win and girls who know what it is like to lose,” North Little Rock Coach Jason Houle said. “If we swing the bats like we have been and play our game, we can get redemption.”
The Lady Wildcats advanced to the finals with victories over Springdale Har-Ber (14-1), Rogers (3-2) and Bryant (17-9). The Bryant contest was the third time the teams met with North Little Rock losing the two prior games.
“We hit so well,” Houle said. “We scored 17 runs, and no one has done that on them. We had a few errors against Bryant but came out and played good. The kids who have been there year after year know when it’s tourney time, we have to swing the bats.”
In the three victories, the Lady Wildcats piled up 31 hits with 17 of those coming against Bryant. They scored five runs in the top of the seventh and produced four-run innings in the third and fifth frames. Cassidy Tucker, Lauren Lester, Marissa Mitchell and Anna Beaver all recorded three hits. Beaver and Kately McMahan smacked home runs, and Tucker paced North Little Rock with four RBIs.
Against Har-Ber, Reagan Sperling had four RBIs on three hits which included two triples. In the Rogers’ matchup, McMahan allowed two hits and recorded an RBI along with Madi Bobbitt and Tucker.
Bentonville (29-1) received a first-round bye then defeated Bentonville West, 11-6, and Cabot, 10-0. The Lady Tigers’ lone loss of the year was a 5-3 setback to Rogers in early April.