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Mingus softball stays unbeaten with win at Prescott
Prep Softball

Prescott’s Makayla Reyes delivers a pitch as the Badgers host the Mingus Marauders Tuesday, March 5, 2019, in Prescott. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

Prescott’s Makayla Reyes delivers a pitch as the Badgers host the Mingus Marauders Tuesday, March 5, 2019, in Prescott. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

PRESCOTT — In the early going of the 2019 campaign, there appears to be a three-horse race for softball in the Grand Canyon region, as Bradshaw Mountain, Mingus and Coconino remain unbeaten in power-point games.

The question is whether an upstart, such as Prescott, can throw a wrench into things.

Tuesday, March 5, would not be the day, however. The Badgers weren’t able to overcome Mingus on their home field, suffering a 9-4 loss to the Marauders in the teams’ region opener.

Mingus currently stands at 5-0 and 1-0 in region, while Prescott sits at 2-1 and 0-1 (4-4 with tournament games included). Bradshaw Mountain, which drubbed Flagstaff, 10-2, in its region opener Tuesday in Prescott Valley, is 4-0 and 1-0. Coconino is 4-0 and 2-0.

Prescott trailed Mingus, 4-3, through four innings Tuesday. But the Badgers surrendered three runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth, and they couldn’t forge a late-inning comeback. In fact, Prescott plated only one run from the third through the seventh frames.

The Badgers had their chances, though. They had runners on first and second in the sixth and hit into a double play. And in the seventh, they loaded the bases and stranded all of their runners.

“We had some really good at-bats, had quite a few hits,” Prescott coach Randall Bryan said. “But we just couldn’t get that hit that we really needed to get us over the hump, so to speak.”

At the dish, Prescott totaled eight hits to Mingus’ seven, yet the Badgers committed four errors in the field.

“Mingus is pretty solid defensively and has pretty good pitching,” Bryan said. “Offensively, the middle of their lineup is pretty strong.”

Tessa Eppele helped lead Prescott, going 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI. Francesca Larson (2 for 3, double, walk, run scored) and Alyssa Ragan (1 for 2, double, walk, RBI) also stood out.

In the pitcher’s circle, Prescott’s Makayla Reyes hurled a complete game, surrendering five earned runs while notching seven strikeouts.

“We’re still trying to find our way, and some of our key players are just still sophomores,” Bryan said. “We’re getting there. We just have to get a little more consistency, both offensively and defensively, but we’re not that far away. We’re going to be a pretty strong team by the end of the year.”

UP NEXT

Prescott visits Mingus at 3:45 p.m. Thursday, March 7, on the Marauders’ campus field in Cottonwood to wrap up their annual two-game region series.

The Badgers then return home to face Seton Catholic Prep (1-2) of the Desert Sky region at 4 p.m. Friday, March 8.

Doug Cook is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at dcook@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.

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