KINGMAN - Northwest Christian scored an unearned run with two outs in the top of the seventh and kept Kingman Academy scoreless in the bottom half to hold on for a Division III, Section II win Friday at Centennial Park, 5-4.
"These are troubling times in the kingdom," said KAHS softball coach Tim Pena. "We're getting better and our errors are coming down, but it's those mental errors that keep costing us runs."
Academy (4-8, 2-4) committed five errors and dropped its fourth consecutive game. The Lady Tigers have fallen to No. 42 in D-III with the top-24 making the state playoffs. That is getting just about out of reach.
"I'm just telling the girls to keep fighting," Pena said. "It'll come."
Freshman Jessica Plew played a whale of a ballgame for the Academy. She pitched all seven innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and two walks. Plew struck out five Crusaders.
Plew also shined at the plate. She went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in, including the tying run in the fifth when her Texas leaguer into shallow left scored Jillian Winters.
Northwest (5-6, 1-4) struck first in the opening inning with two runs, but the Lady Tigers evened it up as Winters reached second on an error, Dakota Parker singled her home and then Plew drove in Parker.
The Crusaders added two more in the second, and the Academy couldn't tie it until the fifth. In the meantime, Plew kept Northwest in check by scattering two hits from the second through the sixth.
The Lady Tigers scored its first run in the fifth when Kassidy Campbell reached second on an infield error and scored on a Winters' double. Then Plew drove in Winters.
Academy had baserunners every inning but stranded six.
"The Northwest pitcher (Elizabeth Bostwick) was good and moved the ball well," Pena said. "I expected us to come out and hit the ball."
The road back toward .500 does not get easier for the Lady Tigers as they host No. 5-ranked River Valley (12-0, 6-0) in section action at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Centennial Park.