Mingus softball collects awards, all-star selections
While Mingus Union softball fell just short of winning the region championship, they state and region received recognition as if they had.
Mingus Union won two region player of the year awards, had two players named all-4A and five Marauders were all-region.
Sophomore captain Maddie Bejarano received first team all-conference honors. Junior infielder Nikki Zielinski was second team all-conference for the 4A.
Mingus Union head coach John Brown said he couldn’t remember the last time the Marauders had so many all-region or all-section players.
“They used to have some of that stuff painted on the wall but it was pretty sporadic, you know one or two players here and there but this one had a pretty serious showing,” Brown said, “but I’d say it’s been quite a while.”
Bejarano batted .626, had an on base percentage of .685, 39 RBIs and 49 runs for the 22-10 and Marauders.
“Maddie had a great season, another record breaking season,” Brown said. “She owned six records coming into this season and now she’s got eight. So eight out of 12 is a pretty big number for a sophomore, she’s only got four more to go to try and have every record in Mingus softball. So to say she had a good season especially considering she was injured, I guess that’s an understatement, she had a great season.”
Zielinski batted .525, had an on base percentage of .550, 46 RBIs and 45 runs as Mingus Union a game out of first in the Grand Canyon Region.
Mingus Union had four players make the All-Grand Canyon Region first team, Bejarano, Zielinski, senior catcher Morgan Mabery and senior pitcher Krista Earl.
Additionally, Bejarano won region offensive player of the year and Mabery region defensive player of the year. Mabery had .972 fielding percentage.
Mabery won Mingus female athlete of the year and was co-MVP for the softball team with Bejarano in addition to her region awards.
“Morgan had a great season, it was her best season,” Brown said. “She finally got to play the whole season uninjured, and uninhibited. She was a leader for us, she had the best stats she’s had all four years. So she’s very deserving of all the awards she’s got.”
“She’s going to be a hard player to replace,” he said.
On offense, Mabery hit .458, had an on base percentage of .518 and 31 RBIs.
Junior pitcher Kaycee Williams was second team all-region.
Sophomore Delaney Hartnett, sophomore Lacey Saravo, freshman Jasmine Shults and senior Maliah Zillmer were all honorable mention.
Randall Bryan of Prescott won Grand Canyon coach of the year even though Mingus Union rebounded from 6-20-1 record and 0-9 home mark in 2016. Prescott was 22-9 in 2016 and 16-6-1 in 2017 but winning the region with a 10-2 Grand Canyon record.
“Honestly if I’m being candid, I think we were the best team in our region,” Brown said. “We kinda gave the region championship away with a couple losses that absolutely shouldn’t have happened but all the teams in the conference, all the coaches noticed these kids and therefore they made the team and they had a pretty good showing in that all region team, so I’m pretty proud of them and I’m glad that the other coaches at least acknowledged that.”