With seven returning starters, 2020 could be a special softball season for Conway’s Lady Cats.
“We have some unfinished business from last year,” CHS coach Chata Hickey said, referring to a 2-1 loss to eventual runner-up Bentonville in the quarterfinals of the Class 6A State Tournament. “We are senior-laden, and that will, hopefully, help us stay calm under pressure.”
Conway has never won a state softball title.
Those returning starters include seniors Addie Jordan, McKenzie Campbell, Madi Schichtl, T’Yauna Rector, Madeline Bruce and Tremere Harris, along with junior catcher Saige Teague. At least five of those seniors will play college softball. Harris has signed with the University of Central Arkansas, Jordan with Henderson State, Bruce with National Park Community College and Campbell with Lyon College. Rector has committed to Crowder College in Neosho, Missouri.
Hickey said Harris was the Lady Cats’ best hitter for average.
“She is constantly on base from the lead-off position,” the coach said. “She is a tough out to get, fast and smart on the bases.”
Teague led the Lady Cats last year with
13 home runs and added 30 RBIs. Jordan led the team in doubles with 16 and RBIs with 55.
“They both possess great consistency at the plate,” Hickey said.
She called Bruce “a top-notch utility player” who has developed as a stronger defensive player who plays confidently wherever she is asked to play.
Rector, Harris and freshman Akyiah Bunting offer the Lady Cats’ best speed, the coach said.
“T‘Yauna and Tremere have established themselves as offensive threats on the bases with phenomenal speed and game knowledge,” Hickey said. “Akyiah is young but moves well on the bases and is going to develop into a great offensive threat.”
Jordan and freshman Sofia King provide Conway’s best arms, the coach said.
“Both have an accurate arm and velocity to match,” Hickey said.
On the mound, Campbell is a seasoned veteran.
“She pitches with tremendous poise and confidence,” the coach said.
Starting experience will be the major team strength, but Hickey said focus could be a weakness.
“This team is going to be a great team to watch,” she said. “They are a joy to work with and really take the time to become stewards of the game. The senior class is tremendous at growing the game with the younger ladies.”
Games to watch will include dates with Cabot and North Little Rock in the Central, as well as the Northwest Arkansas teams in the West.
“We are looking forward to a great season,” Hickey said.