3/22/2013 6:00:00 AM Lady Tigers looking for fifth straight softball title
Kingman Academy pitcher Kylie Tomlinson, right, reacts after the final out is made in the 3A CAA title game last May in Phoenix. Tomlinson will once again be the ace of the pitching staff as the Lady Tigers look for their fifth consecutive state title this year.
KINGMAN - With four consecutive 3A Charter Athletic Association state titles already in hand, the Kingman Academy softball team will be looking for their fifth straight title this year.
"We are shooting for the state tournament again," said second-year coach Amber Freed. "We will see how that works out. We just have to get through the first game."
The Tigers' first game will take place at 4 p.m. today when they host Desert Hills at Centennial Park.
KAHS returns pitchers Kylie Tomlinson and Taylor Shaw along with Ashlea Tomlinson and Dakota Parker. Newcomers Alexis McDave and Sarah Machado are expected to play pivotal roles for the Lady Tigers.
"She is going to come through big for us at the plate," Freed said of Machado. "She's been hitting the ball well for us in practice, and hopefully that will continue in the game."
Last year, KAHS finished the season 15-1 and suffered their only loss to Mesa Heritage. They were able to avenge the loss during the regular season and again in the 3A title game. Freed expects Heritage to be one of the teams to beat again this year, although she hasn't seen any scores from them yet.
"I'm assuming," she said. "They were strong last year and I'm assuming they will be strong this year."
On Thursday, the Kingman Academy of Learning's governing board voted to move from the CAA to the Arizona Interscholastic Association, which will be a big move for the Lady Tigers. Freed, however, wants to focus on the immediate future.
"I want to get through this season, and we will get to that season," Freed said. "We will worry about that when we have to."
The move to the AIA will give KAHS better competition. Scores of 22-3 or 30-3 will be a thing of the past
"I think the main thing we are going for this season is playing to our ability and not our opponents' ability," Freed said. "I think a lot of times last year when we played the weaker competition, we played to their level instead of playing to the level we are accustomed to playing.
"I'm not going to run up the score, but I want to make our fundamental plays when we make them."