For only the second time this season, the Eagle High softball team was losing on the scoreboard.
Vallivue senior Kacie Kubosumi cracked a double to the right-field fence on the opening pitch of the game, and Kathryn Goff followed with an RBI single to put the Falcons out front Wednesday night at Eagle.
But almost as quickly as it fell behind, Eagle galloped back into the lead.
Eagle plated seven runs in its half of the inning and finished off an unbeaten regular season with an 18-1 victory in a game that was called in the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.
The Mustangs have been anything but merciful with their opponents. They have scored 340 runs while allowing 23, which means the Mustangs have more wins than runs allowed.
And those aren’t their only eye-popping statistics.
Pitchers Bradie Fillmore and Autumn Moffat have combined for 15 shutouts, and 15 of their games have ended early because of the mercy rule. Only nine of the Mustangs’ games have required a full seven innings, and five of those came at the start of the season. Their slimmest margin of victory is six runs and their largest 26.
“A lot of us have played together for many years, against each other and with each other. ... I think it’s made us successful. If we continue to do the things that we’re doing, we’ll go really far,” third baseman Martha Tooley said.
Their aim is a state title, but the Mustangs aren’t willing to look beyond their next game, coach Doug Corta said. Eagle opens the 5A District Three Tournament on Monday at West Park in Nampa. They will face the lowest remaining seed from Saturday’s four play-in games. The top four teams qualify for state and a fifth can advance via play-in game. The state tournament is May 15-16 in Post Falls.
“(Our record) is something to be proud of,” Tooley said. “But we also have a big target on our back. I think that pushes us when we step on the field no matter who we are playing, if it’s Coeur d’Alene or it’s Columbia, it doesn’t matter. We always have to compete with the team that’s in front of us and we’ve always got to take care of the ball.”
Before their regular-season finale, the Mustangs moved up one spot to No. 16 in the CBS MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national rankings.
They’ve made their way onto the national stage by building off their team chemistry and a collective fearlessness at the plate.
Eagle has belted 57 home runs this season. Entering Wednesday’s game, Tooley and Fillmore had 10 each, but Fillmore — a California commit — took the lead with a three-run bomb to right field in the first and a solo shot to left in the fourth.
“When someone hits a home run, it gets our energy level to the max and then we’ll just go,” said Moffat, a sophomore who has committed to BYU. “It just sets the tone for the game. For the rest of the game, we’re just always hyped up after that.”