Despite coming off a 5-11 season marred by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, its third consecutive below .500, Mullen softball enters 2021 full of promise.
Veteran coach Dave Atencio, in his 28th season in the game and second heading Mullen, points to reasons why.
One is “it’s the second year of our kids being in our program, they’re learning the playbook and how I run the team,” he said.
Another is a lot of Mullen’s top players were able to play in a full club season.
Another is they will have a full regular season of 23 games, notably a schedule laced with 4A foes before they hit the 5A-based Centennial League.
And perhaps most interestingly, the Mustangs will their first nine games at home, 15 for the regular season.
“No question that will help,” Atencio said.
Mullen’s core of six seniors will be led by speedy center fielder Bella Aragon, who seems to be in full stride by the end of her swing. There’s also Elizabeth Brady at third base and junior shortstop Ona Medina, who may share some time in the circle pitching. The primary thrower will be junior Morgan Margeson, who will offer to talented freshman catcher Morgan Stewart.
Said Atencio: “Having a league schedule and playing within our 4A class will be good, we’ll be playing (similar) competition.”
Atencio also enters the season at 395 career victories.