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Defensive miscues costly in Kofa's loss at Gila Ridge
When it rains, it pours, and Kofa's defense was caught in a thunderstorm Friday afternoon allowing six unearned runs on four errors en route to a 10-0 loss at Gila Ridge.
Everything that could go wrong went wrong for the Kings, from a single lost in the sun to a bad throw that turned a swinging bunt into an three-run inside-the-park home run.
“The defense was horrible today, no doubt about it,” Kofa coach Emma Morrison said. “Just routine plays that we didn't make, we didn't know where their runners were. Once we put them out there, they should be able to play that position and they just didn't.”
Kofa starting pitcher Miranda Mendoza limited the damage as much as she could, striking out four and allowing only one extra base hit.
“(Miranda) did a wonderful job pitching,” Morrison said. “She did her job on the mound but then those behind her let her down. They're fixable things by all means, of course we didn't hit either, just like (Thursday in a 6-2 loss to Cibola).
“We got the weekend and Monday before we see Yuma and the rest of the week before we see Cibola again. We have to make some changes somewhere and hopefully that will get us going on the right track.”
For the second day in a row, Kofa's bats were stifled, this time by Hawks starter Nikki Kelland. Kelland threw a five-inning shutout, allowing only two hits.
“I was just doing what I do at practice, just trying to get all my pitches to work,” Kelland said. “It seemed like the practice paid off.”
She retired the first five batters and kept the ball on the ground with a 10-to-1 fly ball to ground ball ratio.
“I thought Nikki threw the ball well,” Gila Ridge coach Jaime McGalliard said. “She hit good spots. You want to hit spots and you don't have to throw strikes if people chase pitches. I expect her to throw the ball the way she did today and I think her stick's going to come around and when her stick's coming around, her confidence on the rubber gets a little bit more and that's something I'm looking forward to and I think she's looking forward to as well.”
The Hawks opened their season with a 15-2 win over San Luis Tuesday and head to Mohave on Wednesday with a 2-0 record.
“It feels good,” Kelland said. “It's boosting our confidence, giving us a good look on our year to come.”