Talk about extremes …
Mullen got blown out in its first game, then returned the favor. Twice.
The Mustangs had quite the Saturday in the Class 4A Region 8 softball group. They opened by getting 10-run-ruled by 18th-seeded Silver Creek 11-1. No matter. They turned around and blitzed No. 31 Palmer Ridge 16-0, then dominated host and No. 2 seed Pueblo West 12-1.
Tit-for-tat, exchanging blows on a windy day, strange seeding, depth within the classification … refer to it as you wish. When it was done, Mullen stood 14-8 and is the second seed and qualifier out of the region. Silver Creek is No. 1.
“It was everything but a close game, which we normally have,” Mullen head coach Greg Logan said.
In the opener, Hogan said his team just didn’t have anything together and got blitzed. He even lifted sophomore pitcher Marissa Sanchez late in the game.
However, the Mustangs, who entered the 32-team field seeded No. 15, came alive in their second and third games.
“Timely hitting,” Hogan said. “We got the timely hitting like we usually do. They were big-time hits. We were hitting the cover off the ball.”
Sanchez contributed a home run. Tatum Maloney, Jessica Hafey, Caley McKune and Natalie Archuleta were among those at the top of the hitting parade, Hogan said. Mullen, which has won seven of its past nine games, also benefitted from a few errors, including against Pueblo West. In the final against the Cyclones, Mullen grabbed a 5-0 lead after two innings.
It also was Mullen's second victory of the season over Pueblo West -- the Mustangs downed the Cyclones 4-3 in the Erie Tournament.
Hogan pointed to the difficulty of his team’s schedule that he knew would be beneficial at this point in the season.
“It’s just the competition that we play,” he said. “We really have to play our game to be able to do anything. You know they are out there to put a whupping on us.”
Another oddity -- with Silver Creek, seeded 18th, winning the regional championship, the Raptors were the only team not serving as host to advance to state.
The seedings and pairings for the 4A portion of the Colorado tournament to be held Friday and Saturday at the Aurora Sports Park will be released on Monday. Below are qualifiers with district seeds in parenthesis:
1: (1) Valor Christian; 2. (16) Mountain View
1: (8) Frederick; 2: (24) Ponderosa
1: (5) Erie; 2: (21) Wheat Ridge
1: (4) Discovery Canyon; 2: (20) Pueblo County
1: (3) Golden; 2: (19) Air Academy
1: (6) Pueblo Central; 2: (22) Elizabeth
1: (7) Thomas Jefferson; 2: (10) Conifer
1: (18) Silver Creek; 2: (15) MULLEN
REGION 8 RESULTS
Pueblo West 17, Palmer Ridge 7
Silver Creek 11, MULLEN 1
MULLEN 16, Palmer Ridge 0
Silver Creek 13, Pueblo West 4
MULLEN 12, Pueblo West 1