Kendall Smith isn’t sure how hunting deer accents her pitching abilities for the Northwood Lady Falcons, but she enjoys both sports nonetheless.
One of the main reasons Northwood advanced to Sulphur for the LHSAA Class 4A championships last spring, Smith has been spending time in the woods with her father since she was a little girl. But she’s harvested just one deer and that came a couple of years ago in the piney hills around Gibsland while hunting with a family friend.
“It was a spike,” said Smith, usually at a loss for words around the media.
The deer ran a bit after Smith shot it, but she was able to recover it and brought some home for dinner.
When she isn’t hunting whitetails or striking out the opposition for coach Greg Swearingen, Smith stays busy as a football and basketball cheerleader with shortstop Jenna Blythe. The senior is also vice president of the National Honor Society, on the Northwood student council and she is at the gold level in Renaissance, a scholastic group. Smith carries a 3.75 grade-point average.
Thus far, the Lady Falcons haven’t played up to the expectations set last year, when they won District 1-4A and made the coveted trip south after winning a couple of playoff games. A 2-1 loss to powerful Neville on Tuesday left them 11-11 for the season.
“We’ve been terrible at times and I don’t know why,” said Smith, who his batting .397 with eight doubles. “It’s been aggravating because we should be better than we are.”
Whenever the final out of the 2013 season comes, Smith said it will probably end her softball career. She’s not interested in playing at the collegiate level, even if offers come. She said she will attend Southern-Shreveport and work toward becoming a dental hygienist.
Meanwhile, she planned to spend part of her spring break this week entertaining a couple of male cousins visiting from California.
“We’re going to do some shooting, cause they don’t get to do that much out there,” she said.
Coach Josh Foshee has been getting some strong hitting throughout his lineup as his club tries to win district and advance to Sulphur for a second consecutive season. Senior Carla Crawford leads the way at .439, but sophomore Emily Welborn is at .418, Amber Smith at .417 and Kaitlan Welborn at .403.
Not far behind are Peighton Ford (.358), Alyssa Welborn (.347), Brianne Weeks (.344) Tyler Foshee (.343), and Debra Dick (.327).
The Lady Cougars are currently tops in the LHSAA Class 1A state power rankings after going 18-2 so far this spring. Junior pitcher Caley Pyles has posted a 2.14 ERA, while hitting .353, third best on the team.
Mary Terral leads the team at the plate with a .441 average, while senior Maggie Davidson is hitting .377.
When it comes to the LHSAA power rankings, this district has a corner on the market. Four teams from the area are in the top 13 in the state, which means Evangel (4), North Webster (6), Calvary Baptist (8) and North Caddo (13) could all host a first-round state playoff games.
Maybe it was the winds of change blowing across area softball diamonds on Monday night, but there was a definite surge in power. Among the home runs called into The Times sports department were shots by Parkway’s Alexis Rayborn and Danielle Cruickshank, Haughton’s Lani Woods (2) and Miranda Ogletree and Calvary’s Kenzie Glover.