On a day where the Lake Havasu softball team left nine runners on base, the Knights couldn’t get the hits they needed to break the game open, as they were held to three hits on Friday.
Alysen Reith and Natalie Ramirez were the only Knights to record a hit in an 8-1 loss to Desert West opponent Canyon View in a game that dropped Havasu to second place in the region. Both teams came into Friday’s game with a 2-0 Desert West record.
The Jaguars scored in every inning but the fifth, and the Knights trailed throughout the entire game.
“Our girls have a lot of fight,” Havasu coach Kari Thompson said. “Now we just have to execute a few more hits.”
The Knights were rolling in the previous in their previous five outings, outscoring their opponents 88-14 during a five-game winning streak. Havasu dropped to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in the Desert West after Friday’s loss.
“I think we were one inning away from breaking it open,” Rieth said. “We were all over their pitchers the entire game, they just hit right to somebody or they just made good plays.”
Ramirez knocked in the Knights’ lone run of the game on a single that drove in Aubrie Carver from second during the fifth inning. Havasu was down 5-0 before Ramirez’s run-scoring single.
The junior had a chance to tie the game at one run apiece with her baserunning in the first inning. Ramirez was signaled home by Thompson on a play where Rieth hit a single to left field. Ramirez, who was running from second, was tagged out at home by Canyon View catcher Lexi Kline – a play that ended the inning.
Ramirez finished the day 1-for-3 and Rieth was 2-for-4.
“Going into this game, we knew the pitches were going to be better, they’re going to have more spin and more speed,” Knights second baseman Shauna Misiak said. “That’s just a mental thing. Thinking too much at the plate, thinking of where the ball is at, inside or outside. It’s just mental, knowing to trust ourselves.”
Despite the three hits, Havasu had 10 baserunners, six of which came from walks and Leah Huffman getting hit by a pitch in the sixth inning.
In the circle, Rieth had one of her toughest outings of the season, allowing six hits, five runs (three unearned) and tossing two strikeouts in three innings. Only three of the Jaguars’ eight runs were earned due to the Knights’ defense committing four errors.
Alexis Martin pitched in relief and allowed four hits and three runs (two unearned) along with three strikeouts in four innings.
Jaguars’ starter Lauren Ervin walked five Knights, but the junior pitcher shut down Havasu’s lineup for most of the day. Ervin struck out eight Knights and allowed three hits in six innings.
“Our game plan was to pick a pitch from belt to knee and we chased her ups a little bit,” Thompson said. “We’re going to have to be a little more disciplined because she does have that upper movement and it’s harder for our hands to catch up. We got to pick the pitch that we could drive.”
Havasu will look to avenge Friday’s loss when the Knights head to Canyon View (5-1, 3-0 Desert West) on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 3:45 p.m.