LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Cabot and Bryant are set to square off in the 6A softball state final on Thursday at 4PM at UCA. Our Nick Walters catches up with the teams in this game preview as the Panthers and Hornets gear up for a 6A Central showdown.

Unbeaten in conference and coming off shutout wins over Bentonville West and Rogers, Cabot is riding high into the championship. After falling to Bentonville in the final last year, the Lady Panthers hope to use lockdown defense to earn their first title since 2019.

“We’re all hyped and ready to go for Thursday,” South Dakota State pitcher commit Akayla Barnard said. “They know how to hit off me since this will be the third time they’ve seen me this season. But my defense has had my back this year”

“Defensively I think we’ve been playing as well as we have all year,” Cabot head coach Chris Cope said. “But we’re going to have to get our bats going. It’s going to be a scoring fest on Thursday.”

Off the heels of a momentous semifinal upset over state power Bentonville, Bryant heads into the championship with no shortage of momentum. The Lady Hornets’ only two losses in conference play came at the hands of Cabot. With an offense that can put up runs in a hurry, Bryant hopes the third game’s the charm.

“Playing them twice you know what their strong suits are and they know what our strong suits are,” Bryant catcher Abby Gentry said. “We know our opponent and we can do anything after beating Bentonville.”

“It really showed what we’re capable of,” Bryant pitcher Aly White said. “It’s a great thing to beat Bentonville but we need to refocus because this isn’t just any game, it’s the final.”

See Nick’s story to hear more from the Panthers and Hornets ahead of the 6A state final.