The Central Arkansas Bears enter the final weekend of the 2018 regular season knowing that they'll get to play in next week's Southland Conference Tournament in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
What the Bears don't know though, is when they'll play, and as what seed.
This weekend's series against Northwestern State will go a long way to helping answer those questions for the Bears, but will also mark the final time that four seniors will be appearing at Farris Field, as Brianna McArthur, Ryan McTaggart, Kate Myers, and Audrey Pratt will close out their careers at the conclusion of this season.
McArthur, an outfielder from Moore, Oklahoma, has played in 158 games during her career, making 43 starts and collecting 42 hits, 11 doubles, one triple and one home run.
She has driven in 31 runs and scored 36 while drawing 11 walks and stealing seven bases.
McArthur has made 29 starts for Central Arkansas this season, hitting .307 with seven doubles, a triple, and 18 RBI. She will graduate with a degree in Chemistry.
"Bri Mac is an outstanding student-athlete," UCA head coach David Kuhn said. "She's put in a lot of hard work over the years, and has had an amazing senior year and we're so happy for her for that. She's always been great in the classroom and for the most part, she's been a role-player the past three years.
“But she's continued to work hard during the process and it's great to see somebody who has paid their dues just keep working hard and when they get an opportunity to be an everyday starter, they just take hold of it, and that's what she's done. I'm excited for her to be having the year that she's having, due to her hard work and perseverance."
McTaggart, a catcher from Louisville, Mississippi, has seen action in 102 games during her career, making 46 starts and totaling 27 hits, three doubles, two triples and five home runs while driving in 26 runs and scoring 24.
She has drawn 20 walks and been hit by six pitches for an on-base percentage of .314, and has thrown out 20 of 69 base-stealers for a stolen-base against percentage of .710. She ranks fourth in program history in SBA percentage and is tied for 10th in runners caught stealing, while her 13 runners caught stealing this season is tied for the SLC lead.
McTaggart is pursuing a degree in special education.
"Ryan has a great attitude and is a great teammate," Kuhn said. "She's so unselfish and such a good student; I can't say enough good things about her. She's been an absolute pleasure to coach and she's a dream to be around."
Myers, a shortstop from Tulsa, Oklahoma, has served as the Bears' starting shortstop for the past three season after transferring from the University of Tulsa following the 2015 season, making 165 starts while picking up 110 hits, 36 doubles, two triples, and six home runs to go along with 70 RBI and 59 runs scored.
Her .382 on-base percentage is the tenth-best in school history and her .410 slugging percentage is the 18th-best, and she also ranks in the top-20 in program history in doubles (8th), walks (70, 8th), RBI (15th), hit-by-pitch (10, 16th),games started (17th), total bases (168, 19th), games played (20th).
Defensively, Myers owns the school record for assists, with 454, and has led the Southland Conference in assists in each of the last two seasons.
A member of the 2017 SLC All-Academic Team, she will graduate with a degree in Biology.
"Kate is one of the hardest workers I've been around in 27 years of coaching," Kuhn said. "She's super intense, super focused, and she's the epitome of relentlessly chasing perfection on and off the field. She's the first to practice, the last to leave, she has a 4.0 GPA. She puts in extra time, and holds her teammates accountable. She's just a pleasure to be around."
Pratt, an infielder from Highland Village, Texas, has seen action at multiple positions during her four years in Conway, playing in 191 games and picking up 81 hits, 22 doubles, a triple, and three home runs to go with 41 RBI and 46 runs scored. She ranks in the top-20 in program history in double plays turned (26, 2nd), putouts (639, 8th), assists (185, 12th), sacrifice flies (5, 13th), games played (15th), doubles (20th) and fielding percentage (.961, 20th). She will graduate with a degree in Criminology.
"Audrey is very intense, serious, and focused, she doesn't mess around a lot," Kuhn said. "She's somebody that you love to have on your team. She's played in a lot of games over the years and has been very clutch for us defensively. I still look back at when she had the game-winning RBI in the championship as a freshman. She's played multiple positions for us, and she started a lot during her first two years and then split time these last two years, but she's still had a team-first attitude."
The Bears opened Senior Weekend with a graduation ceremony Friday night, before heading to work against the Northwestern State Lady Demons.
After Senior Day ceremonies on Saturday at 12:45 p.m., the Bears and Lady Demons will close out the regular season with a single game.
While their spot in the SLC Tournament, which starts Tuesday in Lake Charles, Louisiana is secure, Central Arkansas enters the series with the potential to finish anywhere from third to seventh in the final standings, depending on the results of this weekend's play.