During the regional softball tournament, there were a couple of times Mustang could have folded and called it a day.
However, that is not what Mustang coach Lacy Darity has instilled in her squad.
From day one of the season, she has had them believing they are always in the game.
So, when the Broncos found themselves trailing by seven runs in the regional championship series against Yukon, it was not a surprise that they found a way to comeback to win the regional title.
The final score was 12-9.
“They were resilient all day. It started last night (Thursday). We dug ourselves a hole and found a way to win. Then today we dug ourselves an even bigger hole,” Darity said.
The coach said she is constantly preaching that winning requires mental toughness.
“They never stopped believing, they never stopped fighting and it worked out in our favor,” the first-year Mustang coach said.
The victory earned Mustang a spot in the 6A State Fastpitch tournament this week at Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
They will face Darity’s former team, Deer Creek, at 11 a.m. Thursday in the opening round.
“Just want to see us keep fighting,” Darity said. “Getting the little things cleaned up. Just keep swinging our sticks and making good pitches. We’ll be ready.”
Mustang showed during the regional tourney that it can present opposing teams a lot of problems, and that they are never out of a game.
After beating Yukon in extra innings the night before, Mustang had to face their rival again Thursday afternoon. MHS needed to win just once to clam the title.
However, it was the Millerettes who came out and took a 9-2 lead after four innings. It looked like they were going to be headed to a winner-takes-all game later in the day.
Yet, that is when the Lady Broncos started to make their comeback.
Mustang responded by loading the bases and Landry Garza delivered by knocking in a pair of runs to cut the deficit to five runs.
Yukon pitcher Kaylee Bradley loaded the bases again with Payton Henry at the plate. She had only two homers and two RBIs during the regular season, but she smashed a grand slam off Bradley to get MHS to within one at 9-8.
“I think the grand slam had put a lot of pressure on Yukon,” Darity said. “I think it kind of got the weight off our shoulders. At that point, we knew this was ours for the taking. Let’s go grab it.”
After giving up another single to Laury Cottrell, Bradley was pulled and Jaycee McKee took the circle.
She got the next two outs to close out the brutal inning.
The momentum stayed with the Lady Broncos into the next inning.
With runners on base, Eden Anderson came up with an RBI single to tie the game. Henry knocked in a run and Sierra Selfridge brought home two more as Mustang jumped ahead 12-9.
Mustang then shut down the Millers the rest of the game to earn the title.
“I just told them keep fighting, keep believing, have each other’s backs,” Darity said when the team trailed by seven. “We’re not losing this game. It looks a little grim right now, but we string some base hits together, score some runs, start putting the pressure on them and then we’re going to go take it.”