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MAUMELLE SOFTBALL | Hornets hit conference play

Maumelle’s Kristen Black makes the play. Paul Fimpel Jr.
Maumelle’s Kristen Black makes the play. Paul Fimpel Jr.

Nothing like jumping into conference play right away, and that is what the Maumelle Hornets’ softball team does this week.

With just two games under their belts, the Hornets hosted conference member Booneville yesterday. They travel to Mayflower on Thursday and once again host conference foe Pottsville on Friday.

The Hornets’ first two games were complete opposites so it will be interesting to see what happens this week. Last week, they lost 22-0 to Sylvan Hills but defeated Central Arkansas Christian, 15-14, after erasing a nine-point deficit going into the bottom of the seventh.

“Sylvan Hills is a great team,” Maumelle Coach Jayme McCoy said. “After their one big hitter hit a home run, my freshman pitcher lost her composure for a bit. But, she got it back.”

That freshman pitcher is Faith Melton, who travels and plays in big tournaments. McCoy says her maturity is ridiculous but from time to time, she still gets rattled. She was glad to see her regain her composure and thinks she just has to get used to pitching for the varsity team.

Another freshman who has surprised McCoy is Samantha Cook. Throwing for the junior varsity team, Cook has never really pitched before.

“She came to me and said I can pitch,” McCoy said. “She never really pitches other than summer league. She threw JV against Sylvan Hills and surprised me so much.”

Last year, McCoy started six freshmen and lost just one senior. When the Hornets played Sylvan Hills, four players were new and hadn’t played with the other five. She thinks the girls had to get used to one another as they were a different team against CAC. One thing McCoy is really pleased with is the leadership.

“I think our strength is our youth,” she said. “The sophomore class is tremendous leaders. They are girls who you don’t even know they are in the classroom because they don’t speak. But, on the field they take charge.”

McCoy says there is a group of about eight who practice every Sunday with a dad. It is not mandatory, but McCoy says they just want to get better. She also said almost every time she leaves practice, four to five girls stay.

“We are very young still, but looking phenomenal,” McCoy said. “It is very exciting.”

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