Even though the season ended on a sour note and one out from the state title game, Conway coach Chad Longing was encouraged with what he saw from a young team.
Bentonville’s walkoff, two-run single in the bottom of the seventh at Bryant last weekend gave the Lady Tigers a 10-9 victory over the Lady Cats in a 7A semifinal.
Conway finished 17-11 after entering the state tournament as the No. 2 seed from the Central with an 11-3 mark.
"Great performance for such a young, inexperienced team," Longing said. "We are very proud in Conway about our softball team, and the future truly looks very bright. We return our first five batters in our lineup, who mainly were responsible for most of our offense.
"If we can replace our four valuable seniors defensively, we like our chances for playing deep in the state tournament again."
Against Bentonville, Megan Goodnight, Deonna Howard and Taylor Kuhn were all 3 for 4. Goodnight had a two-run home run. Howard drove in two runs and scored twice. Kuhn had an RBI and scored a run. Kaylee St. John was 2 for 4 with two RBI. Cheyenne Kuhn was 2 for 4 with two runs scored. Morgan Setzler was 2 for four with a run scored.
Goodnight (15-6) struck out four and walked one against Bentonville. She struck out 12 in a four-hitter in a 5-2 victory over Fayetteville in the quarterfinals. Leading hitters against Fayetteville were Maddie Shaw, St. John and Taylor and Cheyenne Kuhn, who had a home run.
"This summer is very important for our program in taking the next step in playing for a state Championship," said Longing.