The Minarets Mustangs (7-7, 0-0 WSL), were busy during Spring Break playing in the Fowler Easter Invitational. The team went 3-3 taking sixth place out of a field of 12. Starting with a stunner on the opening day of play. Minarets beat the Immanuel Eagles by a score of 6-5 after coming back from a five run deficit in the teams final at bat.
Down 5-1 in the bottom of the fifth the Mustangs rallied when senior Alex Jimenez doubled to the fence scoring Miranda Gonzales, Jimenez would later score on an error. Patricia Thomasian reached on a fielders choice and scored off of Kelea Kamalani's triple to right center. With the tying run 60 feet away and down to their last out, Baylee Avina singled to left to score Kamalani. The Mustangs were not done yet, sophomore Sarah Parker sent a line drive to the right-center gap to score Avina and the Mustangs took the lead for good.
Things didn't fare as well in game two when the Mustangs lost 9-0 to the defending league champions the Washington Union Panthers. Errors contributed to the score but the Mustangs were held in check despite loading the bases in two inning.
Caruthers was next for the Mustangs as day two got underway, Minarets again struggled scoring runs as they matched hits with the Blue Raiders with seven each but couldn't put them together as they fell 8-1 in a game with both pitchers struggled getting calls.
Coach Ginny Taylor's responded in game four with a 5-0 win against the Woodlake Tigers. Recording nine hits while holding the Tigers to one. Shaking up the line-up a bit in hopes of producing more runs, paid dividends in the first inning as Kamalani advanced to third after leading off with a single. Jimenez singled to center and the Mustangs were in business. Two more runs in the fourth and another two in the fifth were all the Mustangs needed as pitcher Avina stymied the Tigers throughout the game.
The line-up adjustments continued to produce for Taylor as the Mustangs played the Panthers of Parlier and exploded for four runs in the bottom of the first inning, Kamalani singled and stole second and third before Jimenez scored her off a single to center. The Mustangs first year shortstop Thomasian singled, followed by a walk and a single by Middleton to score Jimenez. Delaney Reardon singled to to right to drive in the Mustangs fourth run of the inning.
Kamalani took the mound and held the Panthers scoreless on seven hits. Kamalani and Jimenez went 2 for 3 in the game while Avina was 2 for 2. Jimenez had three RBI's on the game while Reardon recorded two.
In the Mustangs last game of the tournament they had an opportunity for a bit of payback as they face the Caruthers in the Championship of the consolation round.
The bats were silenced as the Mustangs struggled with Caruthers slower speed pitcher. Collecting only three hits in the game while committing two errors that opened the door for the Blue Raiders. Caruthers went on to win 6-0, and leaving the Mustangs team and coaching staff with much to work on before facing the Blue Raiders in league, which starts this week. Pitcher/third basemen Baylee Avina was selected to the tournaments first team as she hit .600 with four extra base hits while recording two wins for the Mustangs.
The Mustangs open West Sequoia League play with a game against the Fowler Red Cats, who lost in the Championship game to Washington Union, 5-4. Minarets will need to put the bats to work in this early league game which could have ramifications on their title hopes. The title is up for grabs as Fowler, Caruthers, Riverdale, as all four teams look similar on paper but the Mustangs are playing with a youthful group of girls, starting just one senior but have depth in pitching with the rotation of Avina and Kamalani.
The Mustangs will play their first home game of the season Friday, April 10 as they take on the Riverdale Cowboys (17-5). The Cowboys have impressive wins against very good teams, it should be a slugfest to the end of league to decide this years title.