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Tue, March 26

Prep Softball: Lady Bulldogs score early and often in victory over Lee Williams

Kingman High's Ariana McKowan crosses home plate after hitting a two-run homer Wednesday during a 26-9 win over Lee Williams. McKowan finished with five RBIs and four runs scored. (Photo by Beau Bearden/Daily Miner)

Kingman High's Ariana McKowan crosses home plate after hitting a two-run homer Wednesday during a 26-9 win over Lee Williams. McKowan finished with five RBIs and four runs scored. (Photo by Beau Bearden/Daily Miner)

KINGMAN – As the hits continued to pile up, it was clear one squad meant business.

And that was the Kingman High School softball team as it jumped out to an early lead Wednesday and never looked back in a 26-9 victory over Lee Williams in five innings at KHS.

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Lilianna Valdivia allowed seven earned runs on nine hits with three strikeouts to pick up the win Wednesday against Lee Williams. (Photo by Beau Bearden/Daily Miner)

“I’m very proud of the girls for performing, especially against a city rival,” said Lady Bulldogs head coach Craig Lee. “It’s a big game, so sometimes nerves can get the best of you. I actually thought we were a little bit nervous at the very beginning, but we kind of settled down when we came up to bat.”

Kingman proved that by sending 19 batters to the plate and scoring 14 times to take an 11-run advantage after the first inning.

Kearra Tauta played a big role in the frame as she crushed a two-run shot to center field that sparked the Lady Bulldogs’ offense. The senior shortstop was just getting started though as she finished the day a perfect 4-for-4 with five runs scored, four RBIs and a walk.

But when it was all said and done, Tauta was quick to give her teammates credit for the convincing win over the Lady Vols.

“It was a team effort,” Tauta said. “We played together.”

That fact was evident in the scorebook as Kingman had all but two starters finish with at least one hit.

Ariana McKowan joined Tauta with a two-run homer and finished with five RBIs and four runs scored. Tessa Kelm drove in four runs, while Maddy Chamberlain and Jordyn Dan each finished with three RBIs.

“It was a big win,” Lee said. “The girls have been working really hard. The coaching staff works really hard. So I’m really proud of this one.”

Lee Williams wasn’t as fortunate in its third straight loss after dropping both ends of a doubleheader Tuesday against Coconino.

“It’s been a tough start, but we’re going to come back,” said Lady Vols head coach Melody Van Zandt. “This year we’re building. We’re coming around.”

Ashley Sahawneh led Lee Williams with three hits, three RBIs and two runs scored, while Kenzie Petersen tallied two hits and drove in a run.

The Lady Bulldogs extended their advantage to 20-3 after two innings and the lead increased to 23-3 after three. Kingman was up 26-6 entering the top of the fifth, but the Lady Vols scratched across three runs for the final tally.

“I would never want to be disrespectful to Lee Williams,” Lee said. “There are some girls over there who play travel ball with me that I have a lot of respect for. So it was a hard balance of trying not to stop too early and take the bats out of our girls’ hands. But also I wanted to show some respect to the other team.”

Lee Williams looks to get back on track Thursday at the Joseph City Invitational, while the Lady Bulldogs (1-1) remain idle until 3:45 p.m. Wednesday when they host Kingman Academy (0-3, 0-1 3A West Region).

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