Colorado’s fickle spring weather that has challenged virtually every girls tennis match in 2022 may have delayed Mullen’s showing in Class 4A Region 3.
However, it hasn’t fooled with the Mustangs’ results.
On Thursday, a day after the postseason tournament was postponed for 24 hours because of – yes, you guessed it – bad weather, the Mustangs remained undaunted and advanced their entire team to the championship matches.
Mullen, the defending 4A team champion, will play for titles at all three singles spots as well as the four doubles lines on Friday, May 6, beginning at 9 a.m. at nearby Pinehurst Country Club.
Mustangs head coach Jera Sturgell said she was pleased – and not just with the weather. Her Mustangs are competing with Bear Creek, Dakota Ridge, Denver North, Evergreen, Golden, Green Mountain, Pomona and Wheat Ridge.
Headed by No. 1 singles player Lexi Yost, a junior, the Mustangs will bid to send their full team to Pueblo for next week’s championships.
The Mustangs mainly will go head-to-head with Dakota Ridge in Friday’s title matches. They beat the Eagles 6-1 in a dual match on April 13.
The Mustangs moved to 9-5 on the season with a 9-0 mashing of host Elizabeth.
Mullen rolled to a 6-0 lead at halftime.
Eight Mustangs scored goals, topped by Kendall Smith’s two.
She was joined by Keelee Rakowski, Mattea Parsons, Brooklynn Rich, Olivia Incitti, Megan Ellis, Izzy Turner and Lizzy Marcoux.
The Mustangs will be on the road for a second consecutive day on Friday, May 6, with a trip to take on Fort Collins’ Liberty Common, 4 p.m.
It will complete Mullen’s regular season. The 4A playoffs will begin next week.
MULLEN 9, ELIZABETH 0
Mullen 6 3 -- 9
Elizabeth 0 0 -- 0
Mullen goals – Kendall Smith 2, Keelee Rakowski, Mattea Parsons, Brooklynn Rich, Olivia Incitti, Megan Ellis, Izzy Turner, Lizzy Marcoux.
In Aurora at Meadow Hills G.C., the Mustangs finished third as a team and Sofia Choi tied for runner-up in the fifth and final Centennial League match of the season.
Meadow Hills played tough – Choi was one of only four players to break 80 and three of them were at 79.
Head coach Kate Walker called the course with tree-lined fairways “tricky.”
Choi went 40-39 for her 8-over-par 79. She birdied the par-4 No. 5 and was joined in second place by Cherokee Trail’s Chunya Boonta and Kaleigh Babineaux.
Medalist was Cherry Creek’s Kaylee Chen, who shot 1-over 72.
Sammy Yates (89), Riley Sullivan (91) and Hannah Giacomin (93) also accounted for Mullen’s scoring that totaled 352. Cherry Creek was first (333), followed by Cherokee Trail (344).
Mullen played without junior Kaitlin Zingler, one of the loop’s top players, who was sidelined with injury.
The Mustangs will be idle until May 23, when they will head to Cobble Creek G.C. in Montrose to begin postseason play in a 4A regional.
CENTENNIAL LEAGUE NO> 5
At Meadow Hills G.C., Aurora
Team scores – Cherry Creek 333, Cherokee Trail 344, Mullen 352, Grandview 362, Arapahoe 364.
Mullen scores – 2. (tie) Sofia Choi, 79; 12. (tie) Sammy Yates, 89; 14. Riley Sullivan, 91; 17. Hannah Giacomin, 93; 19. Jane Gray, 95.
The Mustangs weren’t counting on taking this hit – they dropped a 4-2 decision to Eaglecrest at Bill Swift Field .
The Centennial League loss dropped them to 8-3 in league, and even though Cherokee Trail also lost – 13-3 to Cherry Creek – to keep the two tied at the top of the loop, it will be challenging for the Mustangs to remain in the top eight of 5A and earn a home site for the big-school regionals on May 21.
“We have to adjust our goals,” head coach Phil Stanford said.
Currently, multiple Mustangs are battling assorted sicknesses and it may have showed – they had to employ four pitchers, stranded eight baserunners, fanned eight times and were credited with no runs batted in.
Andrew Brady and Owen Marsh doubled for Mullen, now 14-5 overall.
The Mustangs will be at Eaglecrest on Saturday, May 7, first pitch at 11 a.m.
They will complete the regular season next week – Tuesday, May 10, at Arapahoe, and home vs. the Warriors on Thursday, May 12, both at 4:15 p.m.; and at Mountain Range in Westminster on Saturday, May 14, 11 a.m.
EAGLECREST 4, MULLEN 2
Eaglecrest 000 040 0 -- 4
Mullen 100 100 0 -- 2
Mullen – Hurley 3-0-1-0, A. Brady 4-0-2-0, Krza 3-0-0-0, H. Stewart 1-0-1-0, Jackson 1-0-1-0, MacKenzie 3-0-0-0, Moore 4-0-0-0, Marsh 2-1-1-0, T. Stewart 2-0-0-0, Gamueda 3-1-1-0. Totals 26-2-7-0.
E – Jackson, Hurley. LOB – 8. SB – Hurley, Jackson. BB – Jackson 2, Gamueda. 2B – A. Brady, Marsh.
Pitching – T. Stewart 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 B, 6 K; H. Stewart (L) 1 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K; Fuentes 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K; MacKenzie 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. WP – Fuentes. HBP – Marsh.