PHOENIX — Mingus Union softball suffered its first loss of the postseason on Tuesday night.
No. 1 Tucson Salpointe Catholic beat the No. 4 Marauders 10-0 in six innings in the third round of the state tournament at Rose Mofford Softball Complex.
“It’s a tough loss,” Mingus head coach John Brown said. “We didn’t play well, it just got a little tense on us, the game got a little quick, got away from us and we couldn’t recover from it, so that first inning kinda set the tone and we couldn’t recover from it.”
The Lancers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and then added a pair of runs in the second, fourth and sixth.
“We’re not used to having to play from behind like that, so it’s a learning experience for them, that hopefully they’ll carry into another game if it happens again but at the end of the day they got to control that and they have to learn how to be big in those situations and learn from it I hope,” Brown said.
Mingus Union will play No. 3 Bradshaw Mountain in an elimination game on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Rose Mofford in Phoenix. The Marauders have gone 1-2 against the Bears this season, 1-1 in power point games.
“I actually look forward to it, we had two great games against Bradshaw and then we had a bad game against them but we won one, they won one and then we had a weird game with them, so this is our chance to prove that we’re as good as they are and we’re gonna play them real tough on Thursday and see who’s the best in the Grand Canyon Region,” Brown said.
Bradshaw Mountain lost 14-4 to No. 6 Oro Valley Canyon del Oro in the secon round at home. The Bears then edged No. 7 San Tan Valley Poston Butte 1-0 on Saturday to stay alive and earn the date with Mingus Union.
Mingus Union’s game against BM is their first of the postseason against a team from outside the Kino Region. The Marauders beat No. 13 Tucson Sahuaro and No. 12 Casa Grande Vista Grande before falling to the Kino champions Salpointe.
“Well I tell ya, playing new teams is one thing, you don’t know anything about them, you can’t find out any information, you just gotta show up and play them,” Brown said. “It’s a hard learning curve but Tucson teams are tough, that’s all there is to it, they’ve proven that but I think we’re as tough, we can come back from this.”
If the Marauders can beat their region rival Bradshaw Mountain, they will have to defeat Salpointe twice on Saturday to make the state championship game. The first semifinal game is at 10 a.m. at Rose Mofford.
“I think everyone’s got a tough chance once they’re in the loser’s bracket because they’re going to have to beat Salpointe twice to get into the championship but I think this next game’s the most important, we gotta get to that point to worry about it, so right now I think we’ve got a great chance to beat Bradshaw in a one game wonder so we’ll take it to business on Thursday,” Brown said.
If the Marauders can knock out Salpointe their slate will be wiped clean however, as the state championship game is winner take all.
Although Tuesday’s game was a tough result for the Marauders, they were well supported, with arguably the biggest crowd of any team at the softball complex in Phoenix.
“Fan support’s been great all year but it’s getting bigger, everybody’s growing, everybody wants to see winners play, so it’s fun, the girls are enjoying it, there’s a lot of energy that they bring and hopefully they’ll bring it again on Thursday It’s going to be a home town crowd, no Tucson teams, so it should be interesting,” Brown said.