The Mingus Union softball team sent its' seniors out with a 8-7 win over a rival Flagstaff High School, a team that had beaten them by a combined three points in their two previous meetings.
"It was a big deal, for the seniors especially," said head coach John Brown. "On their home field, against a rival team that we've lost to twice this year, it just shows how far they came."
The Marauders were on the board first after scoring five runs in the second inning. That would be the girls' biggest inning of the game, as they were held to three more runs the rest of the game, two in the third and one in the fifth.
The Eagles attempted a comeback, having back-to-back innings with two runs scored to bring the game within one run. An almost errorless game, only two for the contest, and very strong pitching from senior Angelina Saucedo would prove to be too much for the team up north to overcome.
"We jumped on them 5-0, and then they battled back and kept picking at it," Brown said. "We had to keep getting a couple more, until it became a one-run ball game at the end and Angelina had to hold on, and she did. She struck out the last batter with a runner on, tying run on. It was a heck of a fight."
Angelina pitched only allowed three of the Eagles' seven runs, and while on the mound, threw 124 pitches over seven innings. In her last showing at home, the senior struck out nine batters, walked four and allowed 11 hits with one home run against 35 opponents.
Helping out behind Angelina was a group that combined for a .893 fielding percentage and put out 21 of the 28 possible batters.
On the other side of the ball, almost all of the girls recorded a hit, with five Marauders notching two apiece. Slugger Torey Gillies was held to 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI and senior Kalina Boysen led the pack with a .667 average, going 2-for-3.
The girls end the regular season with a 15-13 record overall. Despite only going barely above .500, nine of the team's losses to were some of the top teams in the country from the tournaments they traveled to at the beginning of the season.
"I think its more important (the win against Flagstaff compared to other games), to be honest," Brown said. "We knew we were going to play them tough and this was emotionally tough. This is a good team they hit the ball well. The fact that we one-ruled teams that we lost to earlier and were tough competition earlier, I needed them to have a game like this to learn they can fight. They can win a one-run ball game when they need to. Its perfect, perfect timing for a game like that."
The Marauders are currently No. 6 in D-III, and will find out if they get a first round bye for the playoffs. The softball state playoffs begin on May 2 at Rose Mofford Stadium. If the Marauders do not get a bye, they will play at either 6 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. If the team does secure a first round bye, they will take the field May 3 at either 6 p.m. or 8 p.m. at the same location.
"That was a big deal. It was a good confidence booster and it shows the girls where they are. I told the girls today, we pulled out our secret weapon, we pulled our heads out," Brown said.