By Kevin Cloe
After Wickenburg High School’s girls softball team opened the season winning eight of its first 11 games, the Lady Wranglers are now trying to get back on the winning track.
Since that 8-3 start, they lost five of their next six games — including all five of their first-round 3A West Region contests through last week. The two latest region losses occurred last week when they ended up on the short end of an 18-2 decision to visiting Kingman and surrendered in a 12-1 contest against visiting Chino Valley. Both games were halted after five innings due to the “mercy rule,” when one team leads by more than 10 runs after the fifth inning.
Puzzled first-year coach Jacob Roddy said he believes his Lady Wranglers were better than at least a couple of their opponents in the last half dozen games.
“They (the girls) just need to believe that,” he said, “but they are young and still developing (their talents).”
That belief will be tested this Thursday, when his Lady Wranglers host the state’s 3A Conference No. 1-ranked team, River Valley. In the first-round region battle against the Lady Dust Devils, the Lady Wranglers were granted “mercy” in a 21-0 loss. It will be the local girls’ final home game of the season, with the first pitch scheduled for 3:45 p.m.
Despite the tough outings for the Lady Wranglers last week, there were some highlights.
For instance, junior Jeri Rainey drove in one of her team’s two runs with a double against Kingman. Then she had a home run and drove in two runs in the team’s 20-11 non-region victory against host Odyssey Institute. In that victory — the only one in the last six contests — seniors Alex Gill and Cambri Maben each scored four times.
In the loss to Chino Valley later in the week, Gill tripled in the fifth inning and scored the team’s only run after a defensive error. As the losing pitcher, she was the victim of nine errors by her teammates — contributing to the Lady Cougars’ five-run rally in the second inning and seven-run outburst in the fifth inning.