Mustang won a regional title on Wednesday. The Lady Broncos will advance to the State Tournament. (Staff photo by Derek Brown)
By Derek Brown
EDMOND – There were quite a few unknown variables headed into the Regional Tournament for Mustang. The Lady Broncos finished the regular season in a slump going 2-6 in their last eight games. Mustang had been tinkering with the lineup all season long. Their bats were blanked in three on their final eight games. Despite all of that, everything came together last Tuesday and Wednesday.
Mustang had to travel to Edmond Memorial’s regional. Going into the tournament the Lady Broncos felt that they could come out on top. They were right.
MHS beat Norman North 8-1 and Memorial 4-0 on Tuesday night. Wednesday Mustang needed to beat Memorial, who fought themselves out of the loser’s bracket, to claim the regional title and get a spot in the State Tournament. Mustang had no hiccups against the Lady Bulldogs the second time around as they went on to win 11-0 after five innings. Mustang was able to hold up the regional title and extend their season.
“We have had people play in positions they have never played in before and they accepted the challenge,” Mustang coach Tim Wade said. “I can’t be any prouder of these young ladies at all.”
Mustang’s senior trio in Laci Joyner, Katelyn Fischer and Kodi Jones has been able to hold up the regional plaque four times now and their trip to state will also be their fourth.
“This is what we all look forward to is regionals and state,” Joyner said.
The Lady Broncos defense was as stingy as they could be. Through three games in the Regional Tournament Mustang gave up just one run.
“The girls believe,” Wade said. “I feel like the girls have a lot more confidence in their ability to go out and make plays and play defense.”
Down the stretch of the regular season Mustang changed up some of their lineup. At regionals the Lady Broncos went with a revamped lineup than what the season had begun.
“I was extremely nervous,” Wade said. “It was about trying to find a comfort zone.”
Mustang will go to Shawnee for the State Tournament which will begin on Thursday.
“We want to actually win it and come home with a ring,” Joyner said.
QUICK WIN AGAINST MEMORIAL
Wednesday afternoon Mustang blanked Memorial 11-0 after the top of the fifth inning.
Jayden Chestnut pitched five innings giving up just one hit, one walk and zero runs. Memorial did not touch second base and got on first just twice. Chestnut threw seven strikeouts in the win.
Hailee Milburn hit a two-run homer to left field which also scored Ashley Martin in the bottom of the second inning.
MHS swung into an 11-0 shutout win.
SOLID DEFENSE GIVES MUSTANG ADVANTAGE
On Tuesday Mustang met up with Memorial and was able to keep the softball in front of them en route to a 4-0 win.
Joyner hit a well-placed ball that reached center field and brought in Caisey Jones in the first inning for a 1-0 lead.
Mustang added three runs in the bottom of the fifth with Alexia Vargas, Martin, and Kodi Jones crossing the plate.
Chestnut had six strikeouts in the win.
NO RUST ON MUSTANG’S BATS
Despite woes during the end of the regular season Mustang flipped the switch with an 8-1 win over Norman North in the Lady Broncos’ regional opener.
Clarissa Clifton pitched the seven inning game with six strikeouts and allowed one run.
Mustang will get ready for the State Tournament next week in Shawnee.