KINGMAN - Improvement is to be expected from the start of a season and its completion. Lee Williams' pitcher Sidney Clark showed that is what she's done with a three-hit shutout (13-0) over Kingman Academy in a Division III, Section V game Tuesday at Southside Park.
"I've been working a lot - every day, even the weekends," the junior said. "It's really paying off for me. I'm really hitting my spots, and I'm learning new pitches. I'm limiting my walks."
Clark blanked the Lady Tigers without issuing a walk in a five-inning complete game due to the run rule. She's been working with Shane Powell and is excited how the year has taken a turn for the better since the pair joined forces a few games into the season.
"He has changed everything," Clark said. "I've been throwing harder and better ever since."
Powell not only works with Clark, he's a vocal supporter of hers when she's in the circle.
"His voice soothes me when I get frustrated," she said. "He lifts my spirits and that makes me throw harder and better."
Clark threw just 62 pitches, 40 for strikes, to earn the win. She didn't get a strikeout, and that was fine with LWHS softball coach Jess Brinkerhoff.
"She came together and pitched great," the coach said. "She was throwing right where she needed, and she let the defense play. In my eyes, it was a perfect game defensively."
It looked like it might be a pitcher's duel with Academy's Maryssa Edwards in the first couple of innings. Lee Williams (8-6, 2-3) scored its first run in second when left fielder Courtney Janney was walked home after singling to start the inning. Walks proved to be Edwards's downfall.
She was chased after 2 1/3 innings and took the loss. Edwards surrendered four runs on three hits and seven walks. She struck out four.
The Lady Vols scored three runs in the third with only one base hit - a single by catcher Victoria Martin. Then Lee Williams exploded.
The Lady Vols scored nine runs in the fourth to put the game out of reach. Lead-off batter Tori Logan and second baseman Mia Santos each hit two-run home runs, as 12 Lady Vols came to the plate.
Santos went 2-for-3, a walk and three runs scored. Janney had the single with two runs batted in and scored three times. Holly McFadyen was 1-for-1 with two walks and two runs.
Abbie Boss had two of the three hits off of Clark for the Academy (9-6, 2-3), including a triple in the fifth. Kassidy Campbell doubled for the Lady Tigers.
Rankings weren't updated as of Wednesday, Lee Williams sits at No. 25 and the Academy is No. 23 in the race for the top 32 in D-III and a playoff spot. The Lady Vols visit Copper Canyon (5-9, 1-4) Friday in Glendale, and the Academy hosts Lake Havasu (5-8, 1-3) in a non-section game at 5:30 p.m. today at Southside Park Field No. 1. Those two teams meet again Friday for their section game in Lake Havasu City.