Odd things happened last week in Maumelle’s two losses to last year’s top 4A-4 conference teams.
Last Tuesday, the Hornets (6-6) suffered a 2-1 setback to Dover. Then last Friday, they lost 7-5 to Booneville. Against Dover, Tanner Kirby struck out 13 batters with no earned runs. In both contests, Maumelle had opportunities late to escape with victories.
“We had chances and just didn’t get the job done,” Maumelle Coach Barrett Davis said. “In both games, our bats didn’t show up. It’s not normal for us to go cold, and it happened twice.”
Booneville threw the conference player of the year against the Hornets, and Davis said they dug themselves in a hole early. However against both teams, they led in the first inning.
“Booneville and Dover were one and two in our conference last year, and we were right with them,” Davis said. “Both coaches said there was no way they wanted to see us late in the year. They were impressed, and I was impressed with the way we battled back.”
Although starting off 0-2 in the conference is not ideal, Davis is hoping they are not 0-4 after this week. Last night, Maumelle traveled to Pottsville and then Friday goes to Waldron. Davis is not so concerned about the conference round robin since there is a district tournament. The real measure is performance in the regional tournament. Two wins guarantees a spot in the state tournament.
Davis is encouraged by Monday’s practice and also that the junior varsity squad defeated Little Rock Central, 10-1 and Conway, 12-2 before losing to Bryant, 2-1 in a tournament at Little Rock Catholic.
“We are doing some good stuff,” Davis said. “We had a good practice on Monday, and that is usually a tell-tale sign of where your team is. It would be nice to win both games this week, but like I said last week the pressure is not on us. I just want us to play our game and good things will happen.”
The Hornets also have two non-conference matchups and host North Pulaski on Thursday in a rescheduled contest from Monday and host Jacksonville on Saturday.