5/1/2014 6:00:00 AM Lady Tigers finish season 9-9 after beating Parker
Kingman Academy senior catcher Ashlea Tomlinson frames a strike in the first inning of Tuesday’s 16-1 win over Parker at Centennial Park. Tomlinson hit .638 in her final season and will take her talents to Yavapai College in Prescott next year to play for the Roughriders.
KINGMAN - For the first time in six seasons, the Kingman Academy softball team won't be looking to snag a state championship. The Lady Tigers owned the Charter Athletic Association (now Canyon Athletic Association) the previous five years, but made the move into the Arizona Interscholastic Association this season.
Kingman Academy ended its regular season with a 16-1 win over Parker Tuesday at Centennial Park. The Lady Tigers finished 4-6 in Division III, Section 2 and 9-9 overall.
"We finished .500 going into a brand-new conference, so it was a good year," said KAHS coach Amber Freed. "There were games that should have had different outcomes, but it just wasn't in the cards."
This was Freed's third and final year at the helm for the Lady Tigers. She said that with a young son, she'd like to be more plugged into his activities.
In the CAA with about eight teams competing for a state title, Kingman Academy easily overcame its mistakes and pulled out victories. This season in the AIA with 58 teams, overcoming mistakes didn't just happen.
"In past years, we could have walks and errors. That was the learning curve," Freed said. "Next year, they'll know more about the AIA and be more willing to accept that that's the way it is. They can take what they've learned this year and run with it."
Kingman Academy scored six runs in the first and third innings to build its lead over Parker. The Lady Tigers plated four more in the fourth and had the bases loaded when the game was called due to the 15-run rule after four innings of play.
Senior catcher Ashlea Tomlinson ended her career at Kingman Academy with a bang. The senior has signed to play with Yavapai College in Prescott next season, and the transition the softball team made by moving from the CAA to AIA benefitted her.
"It helped me a lot by preparing myself for the college game," Tomlinson said. "There was actually faster pitching and the other teams had a lot more talent and skill. We needed that competition."
Tomlinson went 3-for-3 against Parker, including a double, three runs scored and a run batted in. As usual, the last game of a high school career was bittersweet.
"It's sad knowing I'm leaving my high school softball team behind," the senior said. "But I am excited about my future."