Over the last week, North Little Rock Coach Jason Houle was hoping the Lady Wildcats could improve their seed into the 7A state tournament. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
Unexpectedly, the Lady Wildcats (11-13) lost the second game of a doubleheader last Friday at Fort Smith Northside and suffered a setback Tuesday to Bryant. With one 7A-Central conference game remaining, North Little Rock can finish no better than the fourth seed into the state tournament. The Lady Wildcats finish league play Thursday and host Cabot with the regular season ending Monday at Benton.
“I told the girls Cabot doesn’t mean much but it is an opportunity to get better and ready for the state tournament,” Houle said. “We aren’t taking advantage of our opportunities especially the seniors.”
Last Friday, North Little Rock won the first game of the doubleheader at Northside, 6-5 in eight innings. In the second contest, the Lady Wildcats owned a 10-8 lead after six innings before the Lady Grizzlies tied the contest in the bottom of the seventh. The Lady Wildcats recorded a run in the top of the eighth, but Northside rallied for two runs in the bottom for a 13-11 triumph.
“That was unexpected,” Houle said. “We were up in the top of the sixth, and in the last inning they hit a pop to the pitcher, and she dropped it. We put the ball in play, and Northside’s pitcher did a good job.”
On Tuesday, the Lady Wildcats lost to Bryant, 8-3. North Little Rock recorded a run in the first inning then didn’t score again until the bottom of the sixth. Of the Lady Wildcats’ nine hits, Marissa Mitchell recorded two, and Cassidy Tucker recorded two RBI. North Little Rock did commit six errors.
“We’ve some injuries and had to put some people in different positions,” Houle said. “Going into the top of the sixth, we were only behind 4-1. We hit the ball well but didn’t play well in the field. Our pitchers pitched well enough we bobbled the ball, and that hurt us.”