KINGMAN - Through eight games this season, the ingredient missing from the Kingman High softball team has been hitting.
It's something the Lady Bulldogs hope to correct this weekend when they host the Coca-Cola Classic at Centennial Park.
"I'm hoping the bats come alive," said KHS coach Dave Vance. "Hopefully we will see some pitching and start hitting the ball. All it takes is that one or two games where we can get some confidence going."
It's happened before. Two years ago, the Lady Bulldogs were in a similar situation, entering the tournament after dropping the last seven games. They left as tourney champions and won their next seven games.
"We've always played well in our tournament," Vance said.
KHS (2-6) will open the tournament at 1 p.m. today against Glendale Copper Canyon and play again at 5 p.m. against Yonker.
This year, there are eight teams at the tournament - down from last year's 12 and a far cry from the 16 teams that used to make the trip.
"Teams are not traveling like they used to," Vance said. "We used to get three or four Vegas schools and it's just not happening. I think it's budgets. My budget was zero for equipment. Everything we got we had to raise. A lot of them are just playing schools around them and skipping tournaments."
Besides Kingman, Copper Canyon and Yonker, other teams participating in the tournament include Phoenix Sierra Linda, Fort Defiance Window Rock, Seligman, Phoenix Cortez and Chinle.
Teams will be re-seeded following Friday's games. A double elimination tournament kicks off Saturday morning.
"There are some winnable games there," Vance said. "We are going to play a lot of games and, hopefully, we start hitting the ball."