Spanning three sports, here is a collection of “David’s Appetizers,” assorted musings and observations on the sports scene:
CLOSER FROM GREENBRIER: University of Central Arkansas softball coach David Kuhn thinks he has discovered a strong closer this season in former Greenbrier star Cicely New.
He likes her mentality. He compares her to former Cincinnati Reds reliever Rob Dibble for the intimidation factor.
“She came in in relief the other day and her first warmup pitch was off the backstop,” Kuhn said. “She’s very bubbly, focused and charismatic.”
CATS ALUMNI: Conway High alumni are performing well in men’s college basketball.
Kenyon McNeill has become a solid player for Louisiana Tech, the top team in the Mountain West that has moved into the top 25.
Preston Purifoy is getting good minutes for Alabama-Birmingham.
A trio of former CHS standouts, Austin Mitchell, Colt Fason and Micah Delph, have formed a strong nucleus for Ouachita Baptist University.
7A/6A CENTRAL POWER: The four top girls teams in the 7A/6A Central Conference are now the top four teams for two divisions in the state title games this weekend.
Both matchups involve city rivals: Fort Smith Northside and Southside are playing each other for the 7A girls title and Little Rock Hall and Parkview are going at it for the 6A title.
7A and 6A are combined during the regular season.
“Toughest conference I’ve ever been a part of,” said Conway girls coach Ashley Nance, whose team just missed a state berth as the No. 7 team out of 6.
ALLDAY ALL THE TIME: Forrestt Allday has become the poster child for the fast start of the UCA baseball team.
The senior right fielder is leading the Southland Conference in nearly every offensive category. He is No. 1 in batting average (.491), hits (27), runs scored (19), RBI (19), total bases (37), on-base percentage (.554), slugging percentage (.673) and is tied with teammates Jonathan Davis and Justin Treece for the stolen base lead (7).
“He sets the tone for us offensively,” said coach Allen Gum. “It’s not just this year. He’s done this his whole life. He sits at the top of the order and it’s a good position for the rest of the guys.”
WHAT A BUNT: UCA’s Stephanie Lasley had a double in the Mercer tournament last weekend. That’s doesn’t seem that big of a deal until you realize that it was on a bunt that somehow found its way into right field.
“I don’t remember seeing anyone bunt for a double before,” Kuhn said.