Mingus pitcher comes up aces for summer traveling team

Staff photo by Eric Lusk

MINGUS pitcher Nicole Zettler, here celebrating a win over Flagstaff in the spring, had plenty to smile about this summer as well.

Midway through her summer softball campaign, Zettler got similar news. The other main starter on her Scorpio traveling team, a standout from Pinnacle High, also decided to quit. Zettler would pretty much be a one-woman show again.

Fortunately the rising senior loves being on the hill and led Scorpio to a fifth-place finish in a national tournament in Beaverton, Oregon last week. Scorpio, based out of Glendale, went 4-2. Zettler pitched four of those games.

"It was a double elimination tournament, and we lost our first game on the third day and the second one on the fourth and final day," she said. "To win the whole thing we would have had to win a total of five games on Sunday (the last day)."

In one of her best outings, Zettler struck out six and had just one walk. Last year, Zettler and Mingus teammate Megan Stribling played with Scorpio in the same tournament, and their team garnered third place. Both Zettler and Stribling were named to the "All-World" team.

Zettler’s 2003 summer softball tour with Scorpio also has taken her to tournaments in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Prescott and Flagstaff. Scorpio won the Prescott tournament and won all five games in the round-robin in Vegas. Zettler pitched four of her team’s five games in Flag.

The ace pitcher is now pondering a trip to Australia over Christmas break. She would pitch for a U.S. team in a tournament "Down Under."

This week, Zettler could be spotted in the Mingus gymnasium getting ready for the Marauders’ upcoming volleyball campaign. Mingus held a camp this week, then will begin official tryouts Aug. 11.

CAMP VERDE VOLLEYBALL: The Cowboys are still looking for a varsity volleyball coach for the fall season. Stacy Gagnon, who took over the job last year, is pregnant with her second child.

She is due in October – right in the middle of the season – and chose not to coach this year.

Lori Showers, an assistant volleyball coach for several years, likely will be approved as the interim head coach, athletic director Mark Showers said.

MINGUS FOOTBALL: The Marauders may be without their starting quarterback for the Aug. 29 season opener against Sandra Day O’Connor.

Rising senior Drew Coffey broke his foot last week during summer training drills, according to athletic trainer Mike Boysen. It could be six weeks or so before he’s ready to play again, Boysen said.

CARDINALS HELPING HIGH SCHOOLS: The Arizona Cardinals will help keep a full slate of high school football games in the NAU Skydome this fall.

Flagstaff high schools had to cut back on the number of games played in the dome last year because of costs. For the first time in several years, Mingus Union didn’t get the chance to play at least one dome game against a Flag rival.

The Cardinals, training the next few weeks in Flagstaff, announced that they would give $10,000 a year for the next three years to cover some of the school district’s costs to play in the 15,000 seat arena.

Mingus has two games scheduled in Flagstaff this season – against Coconino on Oct. 24 and against Flagstaff on Halloween. Both are now slated for Cromer Field at Coconino, but one or both could be moved to the dome.

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