KINGMAN - Painting their nails an obnoxious fluorescent color may have helped some of the Bulldogs individually, but the act failed to help the Kingman High softball team overcome its second game in a row when its fielding ability almost disappeared in the fourth inning as North Canyon pulled out a 4-2 win in Phoenix on Tuesday.
"It worked for them," KHS coach Salina Fogg said. "Now, if only we can find something to get us through the fourth inning."
KHS starter Tylee Rickett held the Rattlers scoreless for three innings and held a 2-0 lead to start the fourth. North Canyon's Heather Jozwick was on first after being walked, and with one out, Lauren Misenheimer sent a ground ball to the Bulldogs' shortstop, Tesla Morgan.
The ball went through Morgan's legs and the Rattlers had runners on first and second.
Jozwick scored on a single by Ali Roberts, but KHS' left fielder McKenzie Overson's throw was off-line and allowed Misenheimer to take third and Roberts ended up on second.
Overson then misplayed April Markowski's single to left to allow Misenheimer and Roberts to score, and Markowski scored on Christina Bean's single.
Rickett recorded a strike out for the second out, and KHS' catcher Beth Hiser picked Bean off third when Bean was tagged out by third baseman Karly Wyatt.
All four of the runs scored on Rickett were unearned, and Kylie Ostermeier faced the minimum six batters over two innings in relief of Rickett.
"We've got our one-inning-of-errors jinx happening right now," Fogg said. "It hurt us."
KHS (0-4) got off to a promising start when leadoff hitter Tara Chavez cleared the center-field fence to start the first for the Bulldogs. Hiser then reached second when her shot to left was misplayed. Overson gave the North Canyon (1-2) left fielder another chance, but it was bungled again and Hiser scored.
Morgan led the Bulldogs at the plate with two hits, including a double. Bianca Sapien, Unica Bautista, Rickett, Hiser and Chavez all added a hit for KHS.
The Bulldogs squandered three additional scoring opportunities against the Rattlers when KHS left two runners on base in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings.
KHS starts play at the Mohave Invitational in Bullhead City that starts today and ends on Saturday. The Bulldogs will look to gain some momentum for when the regular season resumes on Wednesday.
"We're moving on to the Mohave tournament," Fogg said. "But this one stings a bit."