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CAC SOFTBALL Season over for Mustangs

Softball season ended for Central Arkansas Christian on Friday after a disappointing final week.

Amy Zini’s Lady Mustangs closed 6-16, losing their final three games by a combined 38-5.

They fell to Ashdown on Monday, 17-2; and Arkansas Baptist on Tuesday, 7-1, to close the regular season. On Friday, they opened the 7-4A District Tournament at Arkansas Baptist, where they ended the season with a 14-2 loss.

CAC was the tournament’s sixth seed; Arkadelphia was seventh.

“We had beaten them earlier this year, 14-7, so it was quite a different outcome,” Zini said. “It had rained, and the grass was really wet. We had a few errors in the first inning, and in the second inning we had to pitch in the rain, and we had trouble throwing strikes.

“But we have quite a young team, and we’re just trying to improve and build for the future.”

CAC will graduate only Catie Burleson, pitcher/third baseman, but she will leave a big void in the Lady Mustang offense when she heads to Missouri-Kansas City to play next year.

“She has meant the world to us in hitting,” Zini said. “She holds the state record with her slugging percentage, ranks in the top 10 in batting average, career home runs and home runs in a year.

“She’s been a huge part of our offense, and we’ll really miss her that way.”

Burleson is the first CAC softball player to go on to play college ball during Zini’s three years atop the program.

Although every other Lady Mustang stands to return for 2014, Zini said not many play tournament ball outside the high school season.

“We will improve as much as we possibly can,” she said.

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