PHOENIX - The good news for South Ridge Friday afternoon was that it held a 1-0 lead. The bad news? Kingman Academy had yet to bat in the bottom of the first inning.
The Lady Tigers easily erased the early deficit by sending 13 hitters to the plate, scoring nine and cruising easily into Saturday's 3A Charter Athletic Association Championship game with a 26-6 win at Phoenix College.
"We are happy we won and we are going to go out and play hard again," said KAHS coach Amber Freed.
The Lady Tigers weren't done scoring, sending 17 hitters to the plate and scoring 13 runs in the second inning, and were on the verge of having the game called after three innings because of the 20-run mercy rule.
However, KAHS lost focus, allowing South Ridge to score four runs to prolong the game while capitalizing on a couple Lady Tiger miscues.
"We had one bad inning, threw the ball around a little bit, but other than that .... When you score 26 runs, it's OK to have that one bad inning," Freed said.
South Ridge added a run in the fourth inning to cut KAHS' lead to 23-6 before the Lady Tigers added three runs in the bottom half to get the 20-run rule that eluded them an inning earlier.
KAHS (19-1) faced Mesa Heritage in Saturday's championship game. The Tigers were seeking their fifth straight title.