Mullen ended its softball season on Friday, losing 4-0 to visiting Arapahoe at Santo “Doc” Scavuzzo Field.
The Mustangs finished 7-16 overall, 0-12 in the Centennial League, a dozen-game slide to cap 2021. In nonleague, Class 4A Mullen beat two 5A teams and was 5-4 against similar competition before coming up empty in the 5A-based Centennial.
“Like we said earlier,” Mustangs head coach Dave Atencio said, “in nonconference, we had a lot of success playing programs level with us and we knew it would be a tough battle once we got into the Centennial. The reality came true.”
Still, Atencio said, he said of his players on Senior Day: “I was so proud of our kids. This is probably the loosest I’ve seen them, having fun and playing the game they love. They played with heart.”
And on a day in which the Mustangs could generate only two hits, both by Cara Newman, senior center fielder Bella Aragon bid farewell to Mustangs softball with two stellar defensive plays, both robbing Arapahoe home runs, one a grand slam, the other a three-run homer.
“It was the last game and I just had to go all out,” said Aragon, an all-state candidate who will soon visit colleges, several in Colorado, to pursue her education and playing career.
But, she added, “it’s over.”
One of the highlights to the season occurred in nonleague – Atencio earned his 400th career coaching victory in a 17-15 slugfest over Frederick.
ARAPAHOE 4, MULLEN 0
Arapahoe 001 012 0 -- 4 14 0
Mullen 000 000 0 -- 0 2 1
Mullen – Aragon cf 3-0-0-0, Stewart c 2-0-0-0, Brady ss 2-0-0-0, Medina p 3-0-0-0, Walters 2b 3-0-0-0, Gutierrez rf 3-0-0-0, Hurtado 1b 3-0-0-0, Newman 1b 2-0-2-0, Holz lf 0-0-0-0, Linares cr 0-0-0-0. Totals 21-0-2-0.
E – Brady. SAC – Holz 2. LOB – 4.
Pitching – Medina (L) 7 IP, 14 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K.
WP – Medina.
The Mustangs qualified for the Class 4A Colorado Tournament at three of the seven slots after hosting 4A Region 3 Wednesday and Thursday.
They will be represented at Pueblo City Park Oct. 14-16 at No. 2 singles and Nos. 2 and 4 doubles.
Mullen had two champions -- Patty Duke won the No. 2 singles title; Nicholas Ruegsegger-Carlos Pena were champions at No. 2 doubles; and the duo of Noah Wanja-Jackson Alexander was runner-up at No. 4 doubles.
Pairings for the tournament are to be released early next week.
A year ago, the Mustangs were second as a team and won individually at No. 2 singles.
CLASS 4A REGION 3
At Mullen H.S. and Pinehurst C.C.
Team scores – George Washington 66, Mullen 59, Evergreen 46, Littleton 23, Discovery Canyon 19, Conifer and Northfield 0.
No. 1 singles – Jack Barker, 4th.
No. 2 singles – *Patty Duke, 1st.
No. 3 singles – Colin Mackenzie, 3rd.
No. 1 doubles – Sean Phelps-Carson Duke, 3rd.
No. 2 doubles – *Nicholas Ruegsegger-Carlos Pena, 1st.
No. 3 doubles – Aiden Guthrie-John Lenich, 3rd.
No. 4 doubles – *Noah Wanja-Jackson Alexander, 2nd.
* -- Qualified for the 4A Colorado Tournament.
The Mustangs split two Centennial League matches this week.
On Tuesday, they swept Overland 25-14, 25-11, 25-21 on the road in Aurora.
And on Thursday, they lost three in a row at home to Cherokee Trail 32-30, 25-14, 25-15.
Mullen is 8-6 overall, 2-3 in league.