The first time the Mingus Union softball team squared off against the Sedona Red Rock Scorpions, the Marauders sent the Scorpions packing with a 15-0 one hitter.
The two team faced each other for a second time on April 2nd, taking a 10-0 victory. While the girls may not have scored as many runs, senior pitcher Angelina Saucedo pitched a no-hitter through five innings, walking only three batters and striking out 12 against 21 Scorpions.
"The basics of it are, we played pretty well, obviously," said head coach John Brown. "The pitcher, Angelina, she pitched a shutout no-hitter and she also hit a home run, so she had a great game and it was exciting to see her play well. Some other girls hit the ball well that don't normally get a lot of playing time, so I was pretty happy with that. I don't want to say that's what we expected, but it's what we went there to do."
Not only has Angelina begun to establish herself as one of the best pitchers in Division-III, she is also becoming a formidable offensive threat. The senior had one hit in three at-bats, but that hit was a three run home run, her first of the season.
Leading the bats for the Marauders were junior Taylor Bailey and senior Torey Gillies. Both girls had a .667 batting average with two hits through three at-bats. Torey hit an RBI and also scored a separate run while on base, and added three stolen bases, and Taylor scored two runs and had a double.
As a whole, the team hit the ball 48.9 percent of the time. Mingus had five girls with a .500 batting average and totaled nine stolen bases.
The Marauders did have some adjusting to do during the game. After facing some of the best teams in the nation in Las Vegas at the Spring Jamboree softball tournament, the girls had to get used to the slower pitching of Sedona Red Rock.
"Coming back from Las Vegas, we saw a lot of pitchers that were throwing 60+ miles per hour and it was evident when we started playing this game that they needed to adjust to a slower pitcher," Brown said. "It really turned into 'okay, well this is what we need to do in that situation.'"
With the team firing on all cylinders and leaving little chance of the Scorpions making a comeback, Coach Brown decided to have the girls work on offensive strategy in a live situation.
"Really, there's just a lot of situational hitting. Where we have runners in certain positions where we want to move them, or, other than basic sacrifice stuff, just trying to get behind runners and picking specific pitches to hit the ball where we want to hit the ball and in a game like this, we had a good opportunities to do that. We had a lot of girls trying to hit to right field, to move runners from second to third or support them from second, and they executed I and they hit it. It was just really good for them to work on that in a live situation."
Up next for the Marauders is the Cowboys from Camp Verde. This will be the first time the teams will face each other this season. Camp Verde is currently No. 15 in the D-III standings and Mingus is right after the school at No. 16. In the Section-III rankings, Mingus is No. 6 to Camp Verde's No. 5.
The schools have two opponents in common. Bradshaw Mountain beat both teams, 13-6 against Mingus and 4-1 and 18-7 against Camp Verde. The other team they have in common is Payson High School. The Cowboys took the longhorns into extra innings when they faced each other and Payson edged out the 1-0 win, while Mingus was beat 14-3.
"I keep telling the girls 'the game is about you beating the ball, not you beating the other team and if we play well we can beat anybody,'" Brown said. "We don't know what to expect out of Camp Verde. Last year Mingus dominated Camp Verde, but I know they're a young, fiery team this year, they held their own against some tough competition, so we're not taking them lightly by any means. We just kept working on all the things that we know we need to work on today. We had heard they like to play what we call small ball, so worked on that as well."