Lady Cardinals prepare for Jessieville, district

With the rain and weather Saline County has received in the last couple of days, the phrase “everybody is in the same boat” flirts with being a bad pun rather than a tired out cliche.
But for the Harmony Grove Lady Cardinals (and the rest of the 3A-5 Conference), everybody is in the same boat as most of the teams have not played in nearly a week due to the constant interruptions by Mother Nature.
“I am worried about being rusty and all that stuff,” coach Sammi Massey said. “Mainly, I’m a little concerned with our defense. We haven’t been able to get on the field to practice.”
Massey said the team did take some hits in the gym Monday, but they probably won’t see any actual field time before Thursday’s final conference game at Jessieville.
“Nobody has been able to get outside,” Massey said. “So we might be a little rusty defensively, but hopefully we will respond and come back.
“I really believe I got a good group of kids, and so I think they will handle this time off well.”
Thursday’s game against Jessieville will determine who gets the third or fourth seed in the district tournament. Either way, Harmony Grove will face either Glen Rose, who went undefeated in conference play this season, or Arkansas Baptist, who the Lady Cardinals lost to earlier this season.
Jessieville also lost to both Glen Rose and Fountain Lake.
The district tournament is set to start Friday in Mayflower as long as the weather cooperates. Massey said if it continues to storm then officials will keep pushing back the game until teams can play.
Massey said some teams, like Mayflower, are in worse shape because they still have to make up two games, while Harmony Grove just has the one.
The Lady Cardinals are 13-5 and 3-2 in conference play.
“We have to play [Jessieville] because we have to determine the seed,” Massey said.
Senior Stephanie Parins is expected to start against Jessieville and most of the district tournament as the condition of Kaylee Allen’s injury is still uncertain. Allen has been able to return to the lineup, but has not tried pitching again after taking a ball off her elbow while batting earlier this year.
“I haven’t gotten to see her pitch a whole lot because of the weather and stuff,” Massey said. “It is still kind of up in the air whether she can return or not.”
Massey said she is proud of all of her seniors, including Allen, Parins and Toni Alexander.
“All my seniors have done a really good job, and they work hard,” Massey said. “They all play different and have their qualities, so it works out really well.”