KINGMAN - Young teams have their growing pains and the 2013 Kingman High softball team had its fair share.
There were moments of joy, such as when KHS won three straight to win the Coca-Cola Invitational in March. But there were also many defensive miscues and a lack of timely hitting. Such was the case in Tuesday's season-ending 6-2 loss to Lake Havasu.
The Lady Bulldogs left nine runners on base and had the bases loaded with no outs in the fourth inning, but failed to score.
"We had miscues on the bases," said KHS coach Dave Vance. "Bases loaded and nobody out. A runner picked off at first - that was costly. Just little things that add up."
KHS took an early 2-0 lead after the first inning, but the Lady Knights capitalized on four KHS errors for three runs in the third inning and three more runs in the fifth.
"We jumped out early and it was kind of the story of the season - one bad play cost us three runs and all of sudden you are down," Vance said.
Danni Lee pitched a complete game to pick up the loss. The junior gave up one hit while walking five and striking out five.
Senior Lindsey Soles led KHS at the plate with two hits, including a double, while junior Juanitta Cooper added two hits and a double and freshman Taylor Olivas had two hits.
KHS ended the season at 6-20 and dropped its last 10 games, but there is reason for hope, according to Vance. While the Lady Bulldogs will miss the five departing seniors, KHS will return a team that will be dominated by juniors and sophomores with a year of varsity experience under their belts.
"We had a lot of freshmen and sophomores. We knew we were going to have mental lapses. Our whole goal this year was to be patient make sure we got lots of playing time," Vance said. "They are going to come in next year already seeing varsity competition and we are going to be one step ahead of the game right there. I'm looking forward to next year."
Kingman snagged its seventh win with a 6-5 victory over Lake Havasu in 10 innings in Lake Havasu. The game was picked up in the 10th inning after play was suspended on March 26 in Kingman due to darkness.
Immediately following the win, the Bulldogs played their regularly scheduled game and lost 3-2 on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh inning. KHS ended the season 7-14.