Even though the Pahranagat Valley girls did not win any of the three games they played over on the California coast last weekend, coach Mike Sparrow said it was still a profitable trip.

“It’s really good to get out and watch how kids operate away from the confines of their own area, even their home state, away from school, away from home, a little tired, and seeing new places, people and experiences.”

At the same time, Sparrow did not think the team played as good a brand of softball as they could have. The team is still struggling with giving up several runs in a given inning, usually because of not playing sharp defensively in several different situations, he noted.

“This was not our best softball,” he said. And for the three-time defending Division IV state champions, Sparrow is aware of the necessary changes. “We have some work to do,” he explained.

In their first game at Carpenteria on Friday, the Dragons (8-6) spotted the Panthers one run in the first inning, but came back with five in the third and seven in the fourth, and took a 15-2 win. Amanda Blair allowed just three hits and two runs in her five innings of work, striking out nine and walking two.

Two games followed on Saturday with Foothill Tech and Channel Islands High. Again it was the big inning that led to victory by the home team, and defensive errors played a large part of that. PVHS committed an uncharacteristic eight errors in the game. Foothill took advantage with a five-run third inning. They added two more the next inning for an 8-2 win. The Panther girls had only four hits to eight for Foothill (4-7).

The second game of the day was with Channel Islands. Pahranagat was leading 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning when the defensive letdowns hit again and Channel Island scored three runs, then held PVHS scoreless in the seventh for a 3-1 win. Both teams only had three hits each and Jazlyn Waldron struck out 14 batters for the Raiders (7-7).

In evaluating the Panthers (5-5) play on the field, Sparrow said they need to do more work as league is about to begin. “The thing we have to work on the most is that when a team starts to get a little momentum, how to shut that down and get the outs. The defense needs to get sharper. We are not taking advantage of the plays we should be making. It’s not really any one position, it’s a collective thing. Like outfielders hitting the cutoff person, trying to get the trailing runner, if necessary, for an out rather than the lead runner. Or being in the right place when you are supposed to be there.”

On Tuesday, PVHS had an early 4-3 lead over visiting Virgin Valley, but Tylee Robison went 2-for-3 with two RBIs helping the Bulldogs rally for a 9-8 win.

Janella Fiso was 3-for-5 for Virgin Valley, which scored three runs in the top of the seventh after trailing 7-6. Madalyn Taylor and Madison Harris each hit a triple for Pahranagat Valley.

League play begins for the Lady Panthers (4-6) April 14 with a double-header in Alamo against 2-5 Sandy Valley.